WISN-TV, Salvation Army phone bank raises $50,000

If you’ve walked through a department store, or watched TV commercials, you know this is back-to-school time.

With that in mind, we know that it is difficult for some families to purchase all the supplies children need to start the year and make the grade. WISN-TV Ch. 12 teamed up with the Salvation Army to get the community together to assist three Milwaukee Public Schools purchase needed supplies.

The “Class Act” phone banks held earlier this month raised more than $50,000.

“This project was heartwarming and inspiring. The incredible generosity of WISN 12 viewers exceeded our expectations,” said Jan Wade, president and general manager of WISN.

“Donations came in from every corner of our viewing area, demonstrating once again what a generous community we serve. WISN 12 viewers and the Salvation Army know the importance of education and getting off to a good start. We are more than grateful to all of our donors who took the time to give and help fill this very important need.”

With an initial goal of $25,000, the Salvation Army wanted to assist Hi-Mount Community School, Auer Avenue School and Lancaster School. Station anchors were assisted by Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer LeRoy Butler and former Packers linebacker George Koonce to make the plea for support during the two-day drive.

“We are grateful to the viewers of WISN 12 and the entire WISN 12 family for helping make our Back to School Collection Drive so successful,” said Major Roger Ross, the Salvation Amy Milwaukee County commander.

“This generosity will help hundreds of Milwaukee Public School children begin the school year with confidence and have the supplies they need to do well in school.”

School administrators heeded Superintendent Gregory Thornton’s call for help and raised an additional $4,675 for the effort.

“I truly appreciate the generosity of the Salvation Army, the Channel 12 viewers and our entire Milwaukee community for supporting the students of Hi-Mount Community School,” said Hi-Mount principal Toni Dinkins. “The gift of a book bag stuffed with school supplies will definitely allow our students to return to school prepared with tools for success.”

Individuals who were unable to help during the phone banks can still help MPS schools as the Salvation Army’s drive continues at various drop zones through Friday.

“Lancaster students will be off to a great start because they will have the supplies they need. It’s a great investment in our future,” said the school’s Phyllis Smith.

The Salvation Army has a web page for volunteers to sign up and help sort school supplies and stuff book bags at SAmilwaukee.org. The school supply distribution date is scheduled for Sept. 20.

“We are so appreciative of the Salvation Army, WISN 12 and the generosity of all of those who gave,” said Felice Beal, principal at Auer Avenue School.

“This will be a tremendous support for our families and our school as a whole so students can focus on what’s important – learning – and not focus on what they don’t have. Auer Avenue thanks you tremendously.”

RUNWAY: If you have followed “Project Runway” on Bravo, and more recently on Lifetime, then you know of some of the Wisconsin connections on the show.

Contestants Miranda Levy and Timothy Westbrook from the fashion designer show’s 12th season have strong ties to Milwaukee and have been in the city for recent watch parties.

Executives with the show have reached out, asking for help to spread the word of the current casting call for season 13.

“We’re excited to offer designers the chance to showcase their work during New York Fashion Week, and the opportunity to win $100,000 or more to launch or expand their own fashion line,” the statement said.

Application deadline is Sept. 19, and you can find more details here.

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