Chamber keeps finding ways to give back

Saukville organization ramps up fundraising efforts with run/walk, other events

MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE participated in this year’s Saukville Scare 5K Run/Walk, one of the Saukville Chamber of Commerce’s largest fundraising activities. The Chamber uses proceeds from the run/walk and a variety of other activities to support community programs. Photo by Sam Arendt
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Saukville Chamber of Commerce just finished up one of its largest annual fundraisers in the Saukville Scare 5K Run/Walk.

It drew 103 participants, about half of whom finished the race. That’s about 20 more than in each of the past two years, despite the cold and rain, Chamber Executive Director Mike Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove said he won’t know until December, after all the expenses are paid, how much money was raised for the free breakfast program at Saukville Elementary School but thinks everyone involved will be pleased.

“It was a very good event,” Cosgrove said. “We had a lot of good sponsors.”

It’s the biggest project in the second half of the year for the Chamber. And like the Chamber it’s growing.

The Chamber currently has 77 members, up six from last year and up nine from 2016, when Cosgrove assumed the part-time duties at the chamber’s helm.

While some chambers seem to have trouble recovering from the recession or getting off the ground, the Saukville Chamber seems to be cranking up the volume with a long list of events and activities it is either co-sponsoring or sponsoring outright.

“Our goal when I started was to be more active in the community,” said Cosgrove , whose day job is business manager for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.

“We have a lot of great members and on our board, and a great partnership with the village through (Village Administrator) Dawn Wagner.

“We’ve found a way to partner with people. Everybody is busy and so we took a partnership approach to connect and grow with the community.”

Upcoming activities include a series of “Skill Up Business Education Certification” courses at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Mequon; a business forum at the Ozaukee Humane Society on Nov. 13; a community blood drive at Seek in Grafton on Nov. 20.

This Saturday, the Chamber is sponsoring a food drive to support the Saukville Community Food Pantry.

People are being asked to drop off items at the food pantry at Parkside Community United Church of Christ from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Like everything else seemingly Chamber-related, Cosgrove hopes it will be bigger this year than in the past.

“We’re expanding it this year,” Cosgrove said. “Typically, we would have a smaller (collection) with our holiday party. But this year, we wanted to have a little bigger impact.”

Also on tap are two holiday events.

The first, on Dec. 5, is a breakfast program at Saukville Elementary School where business people will have a breakfast, followed by a musical performance from students. The second is a holiday social party on Dec. 19 at Messina’s restaurant.

In the new year, at the end of January, is the Chamber’s State of the Community dinner, the biggest fundraiser for the first half of the year.

The “networking dinner,” as Cosgrove called it, features presentations from leaders from the county, school district, village, state and others. It’s held at the Landt-Thiel American Legion Post 470.

Like many businesses and other organizations, Cosgrove relies on social media, primarily Facebook, to connect with people and get the word out about its activities.

“We use social media quite a bit,” he said. “We found out through surveys that it is the most engaging and best way to reach more people.”

The Chamber’s Facebook page promises a response in two hours if direct messaged.

“I pretty much will respond immediately,” he said. “I keep tabs on Facebook pretty much.”

For more information on the Saukville Chamber, call  268-1970.



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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.

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