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North Side fundraiser
A Friday concert and a Monday golf outing will benefit North Side elementary schools. From left: Dave Bruns of NorthSide TownCenter; Lakeview Elementary School principal Kristi Kloos; musician Rich “Little Vito” Hayne; District 18 alder Michael Schumacher; and Dennis Tiziani of Cherokee Country Club.

Dennis Tiziani speaks to his son-in-law, the pro golfer Steve Stricker, nearly every day and Tuesday was no exception, though they had a bit more to talk about than usual.

That's because on Monday, Stricker won the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, in the process climbing to number two in the world golf ranking and passing the world number one, Tiger Woods, in the season-ending PGA Tour playoff points race. Stricker is now in first place in the quest for the FedEx Cup and the king's ransom it brings. Stricker was happy but tired and on his way to Chicago for this week's tournament.

"He's a little beat up," Tiziani said Tuesday. "He didn't sleep much last night."

Tiziani did say that whatever happens at Cog Hill outside Chicago this week, Stricker will be back in Madison Sunday night, and plans to show up at a golf outing at Tiziani's Cherokee Country Club on Monday that will benefit elementary education on the North Side.

It's one of two "Northside 4 Knowledge" events this week that are indicative of the efforts of the Northside Planning Council and other groups to energize Madison's North Side.

The other event - which is Friday night, at the NorthSide TownCenter at the corner of Sherman Avenue and Northport Drive - is a concert by longtime Madison favorites Little Vito and the Torpedoes.

Tickets for the concert, priced at $15, are available at the gate and tee times for the Monday golf event - $50 for 18 holes and a cart - can be made by calling Cherokee at 249-1000.

Both the concert and the golf benefit North Side elementary schools.

"This goes back a couple of years," Tiziani said Tuesday.

At that time, Stricker had qualified for the President's Cup tournament on the United States side. The players in that event designate charities for their share of the proceeds.

Stricker has been a great supporter of VSA arts Wisconsin, and, with Tiziani, was looking to make a contribution to public schools in Madison. Dennis - currently president and CEO of Cherokee Country Club and Cherokee Park Development - has been a public education booster since getting an education degree at Northland College in Ashland decades ago.

Tiziani met with the principals of the North Side elementary schools to get an idea of the kind of help they needed. No surprise: there wasn't a lack of need, from things like snow pants and boots to share during recesses to more high end items such as computers.

What was settled on as the initial gift was a wireless technology cart for Lakeview Elementary School, and in the year it has been in place it has been a tremendous success.

While Stricker has qualified for the President's Cup again this fall, Tiziani noted they're also "looking for other revenue streams," hence the day of golf Monday at Cherokee and the Little Vito concert Friday night.

The concert at the NorthSide TownCenter is being hosted by Dave Bruns, another North Side booster with a deep history in the area. In the 1860s Bruns' great-grandfather started a farm on the property that is now the NorthSide TownCenter. Dave's dad turned it from a farm into the Sherman Plaza shopping center and now Dave is running it as NorthSide.

Bruns exercised at Cherokee Country Club early Tuesday, and said, "It's great to work out at Cherokee the day after Steve wins a tournament. Dennis was holding court."

Tiziani, for his part, said that for all Stricker's success, his son-in-law's perspective hasn't changed.

"Our conversations," Dennis said, "are always 10 minutes about golf, and then 20 minutes about hunting."

Contact Doug Moe at 608-252-6446 or

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