12:00 PM

Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation helps nonprofits improve local communities


We check in with some of the 2016 AmFam Champ grant recipients to see how they've used their funds to improve or add to programming, serve more and ultimately help our communities. This year's grant recipients will be announced on Dec. 11, 2017.


The PGA TOUR Champions Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Championship will announce the total proceeds raised and the 2017 grant recipients on December 11. The proceeds from the tournament will be distributed through the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation to assist dozens of local charitable organizations.

Here’s an update on the work some of last year’s recipients have been able to do with the grants they received and more information on each organization.

Tri 4 Schools

Tri 4 Schools is a local, child-centered non-profit with a mission to encourage children ages 3-14 to live a healthy lifestyle through after-school fitness programs and triathlon events. The program serves children who need these opportunities to combat obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors.

How did Tri 4 Schools use their grant?

We used the funds to put towards the growth and sustainability of our Exercise to Achievement after-school program. The grant helped us grow from 14 sites to 24 sites in 2017, helping more than 500 kids complete one of our events! We couldn’t have supported this many athletes with quality instruction without our grant from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation.

What is unique about Tri 4 Schools’ work and impact on the communities it serves?

Using triathlon as a way to teach healthy lifestyles for kids is unique, but the truly special piece of our organization is that we reduce every barrier so finishing a triathlon is something all kids can pursue. We also take the entry fees from our events and programs and funnel them back to the schools of our participants to keep them active in the place where they spend the most time. Schools are tasked with serving hundreds of children with ever-shrinking budgets, so we exist to help our dedicated teachers instill healthy habits to create a healthier generation.

Edgerton Community Outreach

Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) helps low-income families in Edgerton, Milton and Evansville, Wisconsin, become more self-sufficient through supportive services, case management, budgeting and mentoring.

How did Edgerton Community Outreach use their grant?

The grant funds were used to support ECO’s Client Services Program which includes emergency motel vouchers, rent assistance, the Transitional Living Program, utility assistance, prescription assistance, transportation assistance, system navigation and case management.

ECO was also able to expand our summer “Lunch in the Park Program.” ECO served a nutritious lunch to area students who did not have ready access to food during the summer. Lunch was served Monday through Thursday and 30 students on average visited the lunch program each day. One hundred ninety-five children benefited from Lunch in the Park throughout the summer.

What is unique about ECO’s work and impact on the communities it serves?

The quality of the case management provided by Edgerton Community Outreach (ECO) is what makes the work we do unique. ECO’s case managers truly walk alongside those we serve. They work to understand the entirety of one’s situation so that all barriers can be addressed and forward progress can be made. ECO’s case managers are also extremely knowledgeable in relation to other resources in Rock and Dane Counties. They help those we serve to have every tool possible in their toolbox to become more self-sufficient.

River Food Pantry

The River Food Pantry provides hot meals, groceries, household goods, and mobile lunches to Dane County, Wisconsin residents who are struggling to make ends meet. The River serves individuals who are facing financial strain, while providing a warm and welcoming family atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect and encouraged to find the support they need.

How did River Food Pantry use their grant?

Thanks to the 2016 Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation Grant, The River is able to provide not only nutritional assistance at the pantry, but also food for children and teens directly in their neighborhoods when school is out.

In June 2016, The River began a mobile lunch program, Madison Unites to Nourish Children at Home (MUNCH). The program bridges the gap that exists when school lunch is not available on weekends and over school breaks. MUNCH began in one neighborhood serving 30 lunches per day. The program is now distributing 400 lunches in eight neighborhoods.

What is unique about River Food Pantry’s work and impact on the communities it serves?

At The River, we pride ourselves on one simple, yet powerful principle: Behind every plate and every product, there’s a person and a neighbor in need. The River provides a warm and welcoming family atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect, encouraged to find the support they need, and given the opportunity to share what they can with others. Every day, in addition to fresh, nutritious food and basic necessities, shoppers enjoy the simple pleasure of decency, respect and dignity. We serve our neighbors with compassion to help create connections and sustain a healthy community.

Madison Reading Project

Madison Reading Project (MPR) is committed to addressing the literacy-rate disparities published in the 2013 Race to Equity report. MPR promotes literacy success for all students in the Dane County area by providing books and programs through partnerships with schools, community centers, social service agencies and other organizations.

How did Madison Reading Project use their grant?

Thanks to this gift, Madison Reading Project has been able to purchase high-need, targeted books that reflect diverse characters and themes as well as dual-language books. We also have been able to add a part-time staff member with expertise in children's literature, adding to our commitment to providing the highest quality books and programs. Our donation center and "headquarters" run efficiently because of improvements we have been able to make to our sorting, cataloging and meeting areas.

What is unique about Madison Reading Project’s work and impact on the communities it serves?

MRP offers a unique two-pronged approach to promoting literacy for all children in the Dane County area. We organize book giveaway events at schools, community centers, shelters, and other agencies where children choose from a variety of curated books: books that they take home to share with siblings and parents. They feel pride in ownership and self-selection, leading to enhanced interest in and mastery of reading. In 2017 we have distributed more than 20,000 books across the region, have worked with nearly 60 community partners, and organized more than 50 literacy-themed programs for children and families who need it the most.


About Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation
Established in 2013 when Steve Stricker became a brand ambassador for American Family Insurance, the mission of the foundation is to inspire and develop strong families and healthy kids so they can pursue their dreams. The foundation supports organizations that produce tangible outcomes that align with this mission. Web: http://www.amfamchampionship.com/foundation-and-charities/ ; Twitter: @StrickerFNDN