Oak Creek — Mayor Stephen Scaffidi is planning a New Year's Eve party and everyone's invited.
The party will be the first public fundraiser for Oak Creek Cares, a non-profit started by him and H. Carl Mueller, president of Mueller Communications. Oak Creek Cares is a donor-advised fund under the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Oak Creek Cares will raise funds and find nonprofit organizations to give the money to. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation will serve as an oversight group, providing administrative assistance.
The Oak Creek Cares Advisory Committee will determine which groups get money. The committee comprises nine members: one Oak Creek elected official, three business representatives, three Oak Creek residents and two non-residents of Oak Creek. Scaffidi is the elected official, Mueller and Cory Savage are the non-resident members, Scaffidi's wife Kathleen Scaffidi, attorney Nicole Druckrey and School Board member Frank Carini are the resident members and the business members have not yet been announced.
The idea to create Oak Creek Cares came from Scaffidi in the wake of the Aug. 5, 2012, shooting at The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
"My biggest frustration is that acts of violence happen and there is a discussion about gun control that goes nowhere, then the shock and awe about the event diminishes and nothing changes," he said.
He hopes Oak Creek Cares will begin to change the narrative.
The organization's goal is to support programs and nonprofits aimed at reducing violence and benefiting security in the area. Mueller added that while the group hasn't pinned down any specific organizations yet, he hopes to see Oak Creek Cares fund efforts to curb bullying, promote religious tolerance and race and curb domestic violence.
The police auxiliary is an example of a group Oak Creek Cares might fund, Scaffidi said.
Although Oak Creek is in its name, the group will support efforts throughout Southeastern Wisconsin, he said. "If Franklin has something that's working well, or Cudahy or South Milwaukee or even southern Milwaukee, we'll partner with them if we think it helps."
Progress so far
So far, Oak Creek Cares has received a $10,000 donation from Eder Flag in Oak Creek.
The group gives a flag with their symbol, a branch with five multicolored leaves on it, to any business that donates. There are five levels of donation, from founders at $10,000 or more, to donors, which can give any amount.
The New Year's Eve bash, planned from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dec. 31 at the Oak Creek Community Center, will be open to the public. There will be a deejay, appetizers, a cash bar, a silent auction and a midnight balloon drop.
WHAT: Oak Creek Cares New Year's Eve Bash
WHERE: Oak Creek Community Center, 8580 S. Howell Ave.
WHEN: 8 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan. 1
BUY TICKETS: OakCreekCares.org or at the community center
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