West Allis Community Improvement Foundation
The West Allis Community Improvement Foundation (WACIF) was founded as a not-for-profit charitable organization in the mid-1980s to promote cultural, educational, recreational, civic, and public improvement programs and services. The Foundation is supported solely by monetary gifts, gifts of services, and other in-kind offerings to promote community projects and programs that preserve, foster, and enhance the economic and social well-being of the citizens, businesses, and organizations of the City of West Allis, Wisconsin.
Historically, the Foundation has annually sponsored two main events: a Community Thanksgiving Breakfast that supports the many food pantries serving West Allis residents and a Charity Gala that benefits a specially recognized group or organization. The Breakfast is usually held the Monday in November before Thanksgiving Day. The Gala is usually held in March or April, depending on when Easter falls each year.
The Foundation Board of Directors selects the designated recipient of funds raised at the Gala each year, almost a year in advance. Interested parties may apply for that selection by sending a letter and submitting the appropriate application form by the time specified.
2021 charity gala
The 2021 Charity Gala will be held on May 8, 2021 from 6 - 10:30 p.m. at The Gage, 1139 S. 70th St. Join us for a night of food, raffles, and a silent auction. Tickets are $65 each or $500 for a table of eight (includes eight raffle tickets). Ticket price includes meal, music, entertainment and beneficiary donation. Meals for individuals with dietary restrictions are available upon request.
This event will be held with the utmost safety of guests in mind. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. We will work closely with West Allis Health Department to ensure proper precautions are taken to safely hold this event. As recommendations change, we will provide all ticket holders with up-to-date information as the event approaches.
This year's Gala will benefit West Allis/West Milwaukee Heroin and Opiate Task Force's Safe & Supported Program, which teaches students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink and use drugs by helping them develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence, skills to effectively cope with anxiety, increased knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse, and by improving cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors.
Thank you food drive donors
With all the challenges faced in 2020, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a 2020 success in the West Allis community. During the month of November, the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation hosted a Holiday Food Drive and Drive-Thru Food Drive to help fulfill an urgent need for 12 West Allis food pantries. This new format created an easy, fun, safe way to donate and help families in our community before the holiday season.
With the outpouring support from the community, we were able to raise $11,950 for 12 local food pantries. While there are so many deserving food pantries and organizations in need in our community, these are the pantries your donations went to:
- First Lutheran Church
- First United Methodist Church
- Good Samaritan Outreach
- Holy Assumption - St. Augustine
- Mother of Perpetual Help
- Mount Hope Lutheran Church
- St. John’s Lutheran Church
- St. Matthias Catholic Church
- St. Peter’s Episcopal
- St. Rita’s Catholic Church
- Woodlawn Lutheran Church
- Apostle Presbyterian Church
To our community members who generously donated a significant amount, we’d like to acknowledge and thank you for your contribution; Alderman Thomas Lajsic, Ellen Saksefski, Tina Krueger, Cheryl Frost, Sarah Rivera, Mary Hook, and Frank Miles. Thank you to the even longer list of smaller donations that allowed us to give $1,000 to each food pantry.
We would also like the thank Universal Health Services for their incredibly generous monetary donation of $10,000 in support of our local food pantries.
The support we receive each year continues to amaze us. Thank you again to everyone in the community who pitched in to volunteer, drop off food, provided monetary donations. Every contribution big or small goes a long way.
join or volunteer
WACIF appoints its own members subject to West Allis Common Council approval. Members serve three-year terms, which expire in September.
Foundation members attend meetings as called and assist with planning the Charity Gala and Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving. Members are asked to participate, donate and volunteer at the events and assist with planning such as soliciting donations, donating auction items, or other activities required to make these events a success.
Volunteers are needed for our two annual events. The Charity Gala requires the most assistance, although the majority of work is handled by the Gala Planning Committee and beneficiary group. Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving volunteers assist with sorting, packing, delivery of donated non-perishables.
To join the Foundation or to volunteer for an event, please contact us.
Your tax-deductible donation to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation can be made securely online via Paypal here.
You can also support the Foundation when you shop Amazon® through the AmazonSmile® program. Visit smile.amazon.com to learn more.
The West Allis Community Improvement Foundation will accept stock, property of value, and will consider equipment donations on a case-by-case basis. For additional information and inquiries please contact us.
Where do donations go?
In addition to two annual fundraisers, WACIF supports numerous non-profit organizations and community events in West Allis. Recent activities include:
- Donations made to support creation of West Allis Dog Park
- Aurora Health Care Foundation Evening of Promise, benefiting the enhancement of neonatal intensive care parent and family rooms at Aurora West Allis Medical Center: Donations totaling $1,750 from 2013–2018
- West Allis Historical Society & Historical Commission’s Settlers Weekend 2018: $3,000 donation
- Crime Stoppers: $1,500 donation in 2017
- MACC Fund: $200 donation in 2017 & 2018
- West Allis Central and Nathan Hale High Schools: Donation of $200 to Hale in 2018 and $100 to Central 2016 for school fundraising efforts
- WAWM Heroin/Opiate Task Force: $250 donation to Task Force Resource Fair in 2016
- Joyce Ann Radtke Skate Park: Opened in 2014 at 84th St. and National Ave., the City’s skate park is funded and maintained in part by donations made to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation, Inc.