News Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kim Schmelz, External Relations & Alumni Development
Phone: 608.822.2379
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date: November 21, 2016

Southwest Tech Foundation is focusing efforts on students for #GivingTuesday

Fennimore, Wisconsin -

The Southwest Tech Foundation is planning to promote the Charger Dream Fund for #GivingTuesday, a global giving movement that has been driven by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world. Since its founding in 2012, millions of people have come together to support and champion the causes they believe in and the communities in which they live.

The Charger Dream Fund is a fund at the Southwest Tech Foundation to provide emergency grants to our students who are faced with an unexpected financial emergency that may cause them to drop out of school due to financial constraints. A lead grant was received from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation to establish the fund with many matching gifts and grants received since its inception. A small grant can help a student stay in school and complete their degree. Great Lakes gave a lead grant of $34,700 and the Southwest Tech Foundation needs to match $32,300 for a total project budget of $67,000 that will be available to students. To date, the Southwest Tech Foundation has matched $17,300 and has $15,000 to raise to meet the match requirement and secure 100% of the Great Lakes grant.

The Southwest Tech Foundation is promoting #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to create more awareness of the importance of giving back during the holiday season. This is just the second year the Foundation has participated in the event and the goal is to raise $2,500 for the Charger Dream Fund. One of the largest contributors to this project is the faculty and staff at Southwest Tech. Staff alone contribute $20,000 annually to the Foundation for general student support with the majority of gifts directed to student emergency funding. We are hoping this campaign will draw more awareness of our students’ needs from alumni, the community and friends of Southwest Tech.

“I think it’s often overlooked how big of an impact a small gift can have. For one of our students receiving $600 to fix her van meant that she was able to continue her education. Of the 98 students who were served through this funding in our charter program, 90% of them were successful in their education endeavors. We want to be able to provide students the support they need to stay in school and pursue their dreams.” said Kim Schmelz, director of external relations and alumni development at Southwest Tech.

No form of public transportation exists within the 3,800 square mile region. Without transportation and the funds for gas, students are not able to access the campus and the training programs critical for job placement and career advancement. The Charger Dream program will assist in complementing current transportation related assistance by providing the funding needed for car repairs and other emergencies.

#GivingTuesday was born at 92nd Street Y (92Y), a community and cultural center in New York in 2012. Since then, people from different backgrounds, cultures and regions around the world have helped to create a global day of giving that reflects 92Y’s commitment to strengthening communities and repairing the world.

After two days for getting deals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday –#GivingTuesday is a day for giving back. In 2015, nonprofits raised more than $117 million online on #GivingTuesday to help make the world a better place in countless ways.  Much more was generated offline and through donations of time and other resources. People participated in #GivingTuesday activities in 71 countries around the globe last year, and this year, participating countries include Australia, Brazil, Kenya, Slovenia, Tanzania, the UK and more.

“The tremendous response to #GivingTuesday over the last five years has been both humbling and inspiring,” said Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92Y. “We have seen countless examples of communities coming together to address challenges. Giving is a powerful reminder of our shared humanity, and the willingness of so many to participate and elevate giving is reason for celebration – even with lots of work still to be done.”

Those who are interested in joining Southwest Tech’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit and click on the Donate Now! Button. For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit the #GivingTuesday website (,

 The Southwest Tech Foundation was incorporated in 1980 to identify, solicit, and manage alternative funding sources to support the commitment to excellence of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. The Foundation is dedicated to providing financial support for Southwest Tech’s programs, students and staff. For more information on how to support scholarships or other support funds, contact the Southwest Tech Foundation at 608.822.2379.


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