Throw it on the wall, see what sticks

Mom said don’t write on the walls, but we broke the rules on Wednesday night and encouraged people to do just that!

We asked attendees of OACF’s Donor Appreciation event:

What’s your vision?

What’s your passion?

We gave out markers and sent people to the wall to fill our pictures frames of the future with their great ideas.


We were thrilled to see so many great ideas! Curious to know what they were? Ok, let’s be honest, some of these are a bit tongue-and-cheek, but all in fun and good spirits.


Ideas from the “wall”:

  • Support for the arts
  • The Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra and Oshkosh Chamber singers and the UWO Music Dept. are proof that NYC & Chicago are competitive with Oshkosh
  • Engaged older adults – no isolation, inclusion, intergenerational outreach
  • New Oshkosh Corp HQ in Oshkosh
  • Restore Pioneer Inn
  • Obtain Dept. Store for city
  • Retain the Council Mgt form
  • Redevelop south Main St. area
  • Ending Alzheimer’s
  • Rowing Club
  • Harbour/Boathouse
  • More Chuck Berry (really???)
  • Milwaukee Bucks minor league team where Buckstaff is/was
  • Pioneer Inn Redo
  • River Walk Continued
  • Billy Wyman Dance (what??)
  • Addiction issues & recovery support
  • Oshkosh Youth Symphony
  • Building leaders through music education
  • A community works project to encourage the arts in Oshkosh
  • Making Oshkosh a great place for millennials to raise a family, young professional to move here. Help our economy grow.
  • Promotion of our 2nd amendment rights
  • Curb appeal for OASD
  • Zero suicides
  • Support Community Band & Senior Center
  • More music
  • Retail
  • More youth activities
  • Volunteer center
  • Support public school
  • Sailing classes for poor kids/women
  • Main artery into downtown cleanup, parking restriction & neighborhood pride
  • Venetian Boat parade
  • Warming shelter
  • Collaborate
  • New catholic elementary school
  • Veteran’s support
  • Year round homeless shelter
  • Resolve the Pioneer issues
  • A decent space for day by day warming shelter
  • Cellular-free initiative
  • Education
  • Establish a library on the west side of 41
  • Safe & clean rental units for all
  • Elder care focus
  • Permanent warming shelter
  • Ice skating rink
  • Enhance river usage
  • Walking trail advertisement
  • Let’s make Oshkosh area the Capitol for moving the 1st year of college into senior year of high school
  • Better street maintenance
  • Buck’s D-league arena
  • Poverty among the elderly
  • Intergenerational recreational activities
  • Change in leadership at the chamber
  • Gardens in all our schools with classes to match Growing Oshkosh – Also in Ripon
  • Permanent home for Oshkosh Farmers Markets

The exercise was all in an effort to get our community thinking about the future and what the potential needs might be. The Foundation has over the past year surveyed potential donors, existing donors, agencies and partners about the future of our community. Gathering all of the input is so vitally important to creating a vision for the Foundation as it maps out a strategic plan for the next three to five years.


And, the evening also was the launch of the Good Samaritan match campaign, which seeks to raise at least $150,000 for the Good Samaritan Fund by Dec. 31.

The Good Samaritan Fund was created with a generous $150,000 gift from the John E. Kuenzl Foundation. The fund is unrestricted in its purpose which allows for maximum community impact.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who helped fill out our wall of ideas! Keep them coming!

Call the Doctor, We have Scholarship Fever

Little known to the rest of the community, May means scholarship season for the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Our staff, especially Education Coordinator Cheryl Fowler, work at a feverish pace this time of year to coordinate the selection process and the awarding of hundreds of scholarships to students in the Oshkosh area.

This year, the Foundation will award more than 200 scholarships totaling $287,020. Our volunteer committee members have a tough job narrowing down more than 600 applications, all from worthy students with plans to pursue further education. Continue reading Call the Doctor, We have Scholarship Fever

The re-green-ing of Oshkosh

Your Community Foundation would like to take an opportunity on this – Earth Day – to say THANK YOU to those dedicated individuals and organizations who work to nurture, preserve and sustain our beautiful surroundings for generations to come.

Back in 2010, we launched a communitywide fund-raising campaign called Taking Root.

Nearly 200 people, organizations and businesses supported this effort to beautify Oshkosh. Continue reading The re-green-ing of Oshkosh

A Community in Search of Affordable Housing

In Oshkosh, there are at least 110 homeless people, including men, women and children.

In addition, 5,800 households in Oshkosh are paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing, meaning those residents do not have enough for important expenses like health care, transportation and food. Continue reading A Community in Search of Affordable Housing

New CEO is a familiar face at Foundation

Leadership changes at any organization are often exciting times filled with a unique blend of anticipation, optimism and fear.

For those who have been aware that the Foundation was searching for a new leader, the BIG question of who that person will be was answered this week.

Bill Wyman, lifelong resident of Oshkosh, has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Continue reading New CEO is a familiar face at Foundation