Recipe for fundraising success

Return of Soupor Bowl on Jan. 26 continues GEF legacy of supporting schools

ENJOYING THEIR SELECTIONS at one of the Grafton Education Foundation’s Soupor Bowl fundraising events were (from left) John and Michele Sladky and Carl Hader. Ozaukee Press file photo
Ozaukee Press Staff

Since forming in 2009, the Grafton Education Foundation has provided more than $250,000 in grants and gifts to  Grafton schools.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, the charitable organization will host its seventh annual Soupor Bowl at Cedars III Bowling Center in Cedarburg.

Foundation President Chris Hogan said Saturday’s event is the largest fundraiser for the organization, bringing in $20,000 to $25,000 per year.

“Our foundation’s mission, in partnership with the community, is to seek funding and support to encourage ideas and programs that enrich educational opportunities for the students of Grafton,” Hogan said.

Hogan added that the role of the foundation is to provide teachers and students with educational resources not covered in the district’s budget. 

Last year, the foundation paid $12,000 for new microphones in Grafton High School’s auditorium and awarded teachers $63,947 in grants.

Foundation founder Bob Hoffman said the organization started providing grants in 2011, when it gave $12,060 for nine projects.

“With money being tight in schools all over Wisconsin and the United States, there are a lot of items schools can’t put into their budget for the betterment of education,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman started the organization as a former School Board member when then-Board President Terry Ziegler was looking for fundraising opportunities to support schools. 

“I thought we would just do a simple and easy brat fry, but it’s certainly turned into more than that,” Hoffman said.

In addition to the Soupor Bowl, the foundation sponsors several fundraising opportunities, including a Color Blast run/walk, Fund-A-Need, Portraits in the Park and the Seeds to Harvest letter campaign.

Hogan and Hoffman said Seeds to Harvest is the foundation’s second-largest money-maker. The fundraiser, which runs from late September through December, has teachers writing letters explaining the district’s needs to alumni, area businesses and others affiliated with the district.

This year, Hogan said, the letters are on track to bring in about $11,000.

Hogan and Hoffman said they look forward to seeing what projects are proposed for grant funding when teachers’ applications come in by March 1. However, they know some money will go toward the foundation’s Fund-A-Need program to create a community store at Grafton High School that will be called the Hawk’s Nest.

The Hawk’s Nest will sell Grafton apparel during sporting and community events held at the school. 

Hogan said the store’s concept was developed by Grafton High School students in a sports marketing class. 

After nearly a decade of supporting Grafton schools, Hoffman said the foundation’s success continues to depend on its benefactors.

“With the generosity of the donors, we’ve been able to fill many gaps in the classrooms that wouldn’t have been covered in the district budget,” he said. 



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
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