For the third consecutive year, Wisconsin dairy producers and industry have united to support state-of-the-art pediatric health care with a generous gift.
On July 20, a check for $104,000 was presented to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin representatives during the Dairy Cares of Wisconsin garden party hosted at the home of Jim and Annette Ostrom.
“We have many great partners and sponsors in the organization,” says Deric DuQuaine of Milk Source, Dairy Cares board member and treasurer. “It was simply amazing to be able to raise more than six digits for Children’s Hospital this year.”
Combined with the previous years’ gifts, the donation totals more than $190,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, which is located in Milwaukee and has more than 40 care locations throughout the state.
The hospital is near and dear to the hearts of many in the dairy industry and beyond. Dairy producer Jim Ostrom, one of the group’s founders, describes it best as “one degree of separation.”
“What we have found is that nearly everyone we have met has an experience of somebody they know who has been touched by the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and how they care for young children who are ill,” he explains.
For Laurie Fischer, executive director of the Dairy Business Association (DBA), the cause takes on a very personal meaning.
“My son was a patient at Children’s Hospital when he was an infant, and he had three surgeries by the time he was two years old,” Fischer says. “Luckily, the operations were successful and he remains healthy.”
What has now become a blossoming annual giving event, Dairy Cares demonstrates the true spirit of an industry and its producers who feel a moral obligation to spread good will.
“In Wisconsin, we are blessed with being the best place in the country to milk cows. We have the best dairy knowledge and infrastructure. We also happen to be good farmers, and that has stabilized our profitability,” explains Ostrom. “Many of us have found success here in Wisconsin and we want to give it back.”
Likewise, Gordon Speirs gives to the cause because he views it is part of a greater humanitarian effort.
“This is an opportunity to give back to society the blessings that this industry has given us,” says the dairy producer, who owns and operates Shiloh Dairy near Brillion with his wife Cathy and sons. “Every member of society needs to give back to community in some fashion, and this is one of the ways that we do it.”
In order for Dairy Cares to hold true to its best intentions, the group and its annual event are organized by volunteers.
“We are very careful that dollars are targeted and everyone is participating on a volunteer level,” Ostrom adds. “We are all focused on returning every penny we can to the cause and, at the same time, creating a lot of enthusiasm for the event.”
The dairy community has certainly rallied with support for the Children’s Hospital. The recent event drew around 300 people.
“There are a lot of corporate people in the dairy industry, and there are a lot of producers who are becoming full-fledged sponsors of the event because they see the good we are doing,” says Ostrom.
Fischer adds, “The generosity of our industry and the kindness of dairy producers to help our cause are amazing. They are providing children and their families with an incredible gift. Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin has done miraculous work to save children’s lives.”
Dairy Cares thanks the following sponsors: BMO Harris Bank, Milk Source, Brian Retzlaff Trucking, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Conestoga Rovers and Associates, Drake Dairy, Family Insurance Center, Grassland Dairy Products, Hank Olson Construction, LDS, Semex, Shiloh Dairy, Vanderloop Equipment, Overhead Solutions, Van de Loo Farms, Airing Equipment Company, American Foods Group, Animal Health International, Animart, Bayland Buildings, BelGioioso Cheese, Cornette Farm Supply, DVO, First Capitol Ag/Knight Capitol, Fox Structures, Freudenthal MFG, G&K Services, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Komro Sales & Service, Mueller Excavating, Nick Galante & Laurie Fischer Galante, Novak’s Cheese, Pagel’s Ponderosa, Pat’s Tire Sales and Service, Phil’s Pumping & Fab, Pine River Pre-Pack, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren S.C., Schenck S.C., Sixel & Schwinn, Troy’s Transport, Baylake Bank, Ethan Hendricks, Gary Van de Loo Livestock, John and Keri Vosters, Larry and Kay Ferguson, Remer Farms, Thomas Seifert and Nancy Thompson, JLS Electric, Mark’s Electric, Bill Lorrigan Construction, Dan and Barb Natzke, Glacier Transit and Storage, J. Jadin Inc., Jamie and Shannon Endvick, Larson Acres, Modern Dairy Systems, Roll-O-Matic Curtains, RP Feed Components, Vanderkinter Farms, Ebert Dairy Enterprises, Udder Tech, Blazei Hooftrimming, Darlington Dairy Supply Co., Leo Van De Yacht Drilling, Scott and Renee Schrift, Tri-County Overhead Door Services, Wallendal Supply, Direct Enterprises, Waste Control Services, Dairy Business Resources, Eric and Angie Olstad, Mike’s Welding and Repair, and Hydroclean Equipment.