The board of the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of The Capital Times, is giving $635,000 in grants to nonprofits dealing with the coronavirus crisis in Dane County.
The grants will provide immediate support for food pantries and other nonprofits that provide meals for the unemployed and otherwise needy, as well as support for front-line health care workers and other causes directly affected by the pandemic.
Because of the health emergency, the awards are being made ahead of the foundation’s normal grant cycle. The board will review applications it has already received for a second, much smaller slate of grants to be announced in June.
“Given the enormity of this health crisis, the board decided to make these special grants to organizations on the pandemic’s front lines in Madison and Dane County,” said Paul Fanlund, editor and publisher of The Capital Times and a member of the foundation’s board of directors. “The Evjue Foundation has always been devoted to helping the neediest among us, and this is a time of critical need.”
Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, the longtime coordinator and distributor for many local food pantries, will receive $100,000.
“This gift couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Second Harvest President and CEO Michelle Orge. “In order to meet the surge in need caused by the pandemic, we are distributing more than double the amount of food we normally would.
“Though meeting this increase in need for an extended period of time will be a challenge, it is within reach thanks to amazing donors like the Evjue Foundation. We are incredibly grateful for the trust they have shown in us to help those hit hardest by this pandemic.”
The University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive $90,000 to be divided among three programs: an emergency student support fund; the Odyssey Project family fund focused on educational opportunities for local families in poverty; and UW’s Global Health Institute, which is performing COVID-19 research and acting as a clearinghouse for information.
Four health-related entities will each receive $30,000:
UnityPoint Health — the Meriter Foundation’s “compassion fund” supports front-line workers and support staff during the COVID-19 response.
UW Health — its COVID-19 response fund provides food, day care support, personal protective equipment and other needs of staff members most directly affected by the pandemic.
SSM Dean — the emergency response fund created by the SSM Health St. Mary’s Foundation focuses on the care and safety of front-line health care workers.
Access Community Health — a nonprofit with a long history of serving patients who face financial, cultural, or language obstacles with high-quality, affordable health care.
Thirteen other nonprofits, each with a coronavirus initiative, will receive grants of $25,000. They are:
Latino Consortium for Action’s emergency relief fund through Centro Hispano
Badger Prairie Needs Network Food Pantry
The River Food Pantry
Meals on Wheels
St. Vincent de Paul
Goodman Community Center
Lussier Education and Community Center
Middleton Outreach Ministry
Boys & Girls Club of Dane County
YWCA Madison’s program to keep single mothers safe
Rape Crisis Center
Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
Women’s Medical Fund, Inc.
The Evjue Foundation board has 15 directors. Seven represent The Capital Times Co.: Jim Lussier, Laura Lussier Lee, Dawn Lussier, Nancy Gage, Clayton Frink, Dave Zweifel and Fanlund. Four directors represent the UW Foundation: Anne Lucke, Marion Brown, Vince Sweeney and Brenda Gonzalez. And four represent the Madison Community Foundation: Bob Sorge, Jim Bradley, Tom Linfield and Therese Gulbransen. Pam Wells is the foundation’s executive director and is in charge of its administration.
The awards are made possible by the will of the late William T. Evjue, the founder of The Capital Times, who directed that proceeds from his controlling stock in the newspaper go to the Evjue Charitable Trust. The will requires that the trust, in turn, direct proceeds to the foundation to be distributed to worthy causes and organizations throughout the community.
During the years since Mr. Evjue’s death in 1970, the foundation has been able to provide more than $70 million in contributions to hundreds of charitable, cultural and educational organizations in the Dane County area.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the name of UW-Madison's Global Health Institute.