Last fall we asked the members of our club to bring forward suggestions for a new project that would meet the following criteria:
- Match the needs in our community with the philanthropic interests of our members and club.
- Indicate high expected buy-in by club members.
- Have a sustainable financial model.
- Offer Rotary an opportunity for a leadership role in the project development and community recognition for Rotary’s effort.
And bring forward projects you did. A committee led by Past President Dan Vliet carefully considered each proposal and in March five of these projects were presented to the club.
We then asked Rotarians to complete a survey and evaluate each project against the criteria. We also asked you to indicate whether or not you would be willing make a personal contribution to the project or volunteer at the site. The project that scored highest on all counts was the Lincoln Avenue Stable.
Dan’s committee considered this input as they continued to meet with the project advocates to fully vet and understand each project. In the end, the wisdom of the crowd prevailed and Rotary Board of Directors committed to raise $250,000 to make a contribution to the Lincoln Avenue Stable.
The Lincoln Avenue Stable will be the first facility in the nation to combine Mounted Patrol, equine-assisted therapy and community engagement. This 30,000 square-foot custom-designed center will house 24 horses. Half of the horses will be dedicated to the Milwaukee Police Department’s Mounted Patrol and half devoted to an equine-assisted therapy program. In addition there will an active program to engage community members. Stay tuned for more information in the next months in how you can support and be a part of this exciting project!
We want to thank each of the teams that brought forward a project. Each was unique and offered an important contribution to the community. We congratulate the Rotarians who advocated for the Lincoln Avenue Stable project: David Buck, Bill Durkin, Kris Hinrichs, Chris Holmes, Kent Lovern, Marc McSweeney, John Ridley and Steve Zimmerman.
Finally, thank you to Past President Dan Vliet and all the members of the committee for their diligent and thoughtful review of all of the projects. The committee members included: JoAnne Anton, Jim Barry, Kathie Eilers, Joanne Grunau, Mary McCormick, Toby Reynolds, John Ridley, Fred Royal, Nancy Sennett, Jerry Stepaniak and Stacy Williams.