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Media-thon

You can help your neighbors and end poverty by participating in the U.S. Venture Open Media-thon!

To follow CDC recommendations on social distancing, the 2020 U.S. Venture Open will forgo golf at multiple regional golf courses and the evening dinner at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown. Instead, the event will move into a space designed to educate, activate and inform donors about how the funds raised help the most vulnerable in our communities.

Thanks to our media partners, WBAY-TV and Woodward Communications, we are holding the first ever U.S. Venture Open Media-thon. The media platforms will educate the public through live reports, stories, and talk shows culminating in a day of celebration and fundraising on Wednesday, August 12. Woodward Communications will air programming on its stations all day, live reports will be featured on WBAY-TV 2 throughout the day, and WBAY will televise a 1-hour program communicating the need for regional nonprofits.

In a nod to our long-time friends and partners, Van Abel’s will host small teams of socially distant partners to take your calls all day on August 12. You can help those most in need in Northeast Wisconsin with a donation—and every dollar you donate will be matched in grants by our lead partners: U.S. Venture, J. J. Keller Foundation, Oshkosh Corporation, Thrivent, and ThedaCare.

How can you help?

– Learn more by listening to reports on WBAY-TV 2 or Woodward radio stations: WHBY, WAPL, KISS FM, The SCORE, RAZOR, KZ-104.3
– Donate NOW by visiting the donate page above or text “USVO” to 762-78.
– Plan to donate on August 12 by watching WBAY-TV 2 and calling in your donation or listen to Woodward radio stations
– The online auction will open on July 29 and close at 7:30 p.m. on August 12.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | U.S. Venture Open Media-thon
  • 5:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • All day media-thon on WBAY-TV & Woodward Radio Group
  • 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • WBAY-TV 1-hour televised program
  • 7:30 p.m.
  • Auction closes
  • 10:00 p.m.
  • Announced total raised to end poverty in Northeast WI

  1. 1986

    Bill Schmidt, youngest of the Schmidt brothers, started the first golf outing. It was originally called the U.S. Oil Open for Diabetes and was held on August 13, 1986 at Mid Vallee Golf Course with dinner at Van Abel’s Supper Club. The inaugural event had 97 golfers, 21 sponsors and raised $46,645. The donation for golf was $125 and a hole sponorship was $1,500. The company paid 100% of the expenses, dollars stayed in the community and a fund was setup at the newly formed Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. It was the first fund established at the Foundation.

    1986
  2. 1987

    An annual tradition continued on the second Wednesday of August. The event raised $52,175 for Alzheimers with 40 sponsors and 42 employee volunteers. A fishing tournament was also created for those donors that did not golf. There were nearly 50 fishermen who participated in Green Bay.

    1987
  3. 1988

    This year $63,475 was raised for Needy Children with 38 sponsors, 139 golfers and fishermen. At this time three funds were setup to rotate among diabetes and alzeimers, due to family members dealing with the diseases and needy children because of a tragedy involving a young Kaukauna girl.

    1988
  4. 1989

    The event raised $81,943 for Diabetes with 146 golfers, 22 fishermen and 117 dinner attendees.

    1989
  5. 1990

    This year $98,888 was raised for Alzheimers. Bob Harlan, then Green Bay Packers President/CEO, was the guest of honor.

    1990
  6. 1991

    The event got so large some golfers had to golf at a second golf course, Countryside Golf Club. $115,465 was raised for Needy Children.

    1991
  7. 1992

    Proceeds were split between the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region and the newly-formed Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. $152,835 was raised for Diabetes. Bob Harlan, Green Bay Packers & Dick Bennett, UWGB Basketball Coach were the guests of honor.

    1992
  8. 1993

    This year $204,732 was raised for Alzheimers.

    1993
  9. 1994

    The event continued to expand with a third golf course at Mystery Hills Golf Course. $265,000 was raised for Needy Children. Packers legend Bart Starr welcomed participants.

    1994
  10. 1995

    This year $301,677 was raised for Diabetes. Bart Starr was the guest golfer and speaker.

    1995
  11. 1996

    The event raised $350,143 for Alzheimers with 84 volunteers. Pat Richter, University of Wisconsin athletic director, was the guest of honor.

    1996
  12. 1997

    This year $378,205 was raised for Needy Children with 250 sponsors and 100 volunteers. 325 golfers played at Countryside, MidVallee & Wander Springs. $2.1 million was raised in 12 years. Bart Starr was the guest of honor.

    1997
  13. 1998

    The event raised $395,100 for Diabetes. Max McGee, Green Bay Packers legend, made his first of many appearances at the outing. His passion for finding a cure for diabetes kept him coming back.

    1998
  14. 1999

    This year $433,554 was raised for Alzheimers with 435 golfers. Max McGee, Green Bay Packers legend, was the guest of honor. After 13 years, this was the last year a fishing tournament was held on Lake Poygan in conjunction with the golf outing.

    1999
  15. 2000

    The event raised $442,593 for Needy Children. Max McGee, Green Bay Packers legend & Pat Richter, University of Wisconsin athletic director, were guests of honor.

    2000
  16. 2001

    This year $459,357 was raised for Diabetes. Max McGee, Green Bay Packers legend, was the guest of honor.

    2001
  17. 2002

    The event raised $486,623 for Alzheimers with 390 golfers. Max McGee, Green Bay Packers legend, was the guest of honor.

    2002
  18. 2003

    This year $468,442 was raised for Needy Children.

    2003
  19. 2004

    The outing raised $542,425 for Diabetes with 402 golfers. Max McGee & Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers legends, were the guests of honor.

    2004
  20. 2005

    The U.S. Oil Open celebrated its 20th anniversary. $622,000 was raised for Alzheimers. Max McGee & Paul Hornung, Green Bay Packers legends, were the guests of honor. In twenty years the event raised nearly $6 million and granted more than $2.25 million.

    2005
  21. 2006

    The event raised $744,600 for Needy Children with more than 450 golfers. Deanna Favre, philanthropist and wife of Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, was the guest of honor.
    After extensive research on mission and impact, it was decided to consolidate the Diabetes, Alzheimers and Needy Children funds into the U.S. Oil Open Fund for Basic Needs.

    2006
  22. 2007

    Deanna Favre made her second appearance and the event raised $1,000,000 with 542 golfers and 250 sponsors. The basic needs focus and collaboration with the J. J. Keller Foundation commitment to grant matching was announced.

    2007
  23. 2008

    Granting expanded to include the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation which started a true regional approach to giving in Northeast Wisconsin. The first Basic Needs Giving Partnership grants were made in Spring 2008 to fight poverty. $1,253,000 was raised and $550,000 of grants were matched by J. J. Keller Foundation. Jim Irwin, radio voice of the Green Bay Packers for 30 years and Marla McGee attended to honor her late husband, Max.

    2008
  24. 2009

    The event raised $1,452,000 with more than $10 million raised since 1986. J. J. Keller Foundation matched grants of $650,000. Nancy Lopez, professional golfer, made her first of four appearances along with then Wisconsin Governor, Jim Doyle.

    2009
  25. 2010

    U.S. Oil Co., Inc. changed its name to U.S. Venture, Inc., and as a result the event was renamed the U.S. Venture Open. The outing celebrated a quarter century of giving raising $2,217,000.
    J. J. Keller Foundation matched $750,000 of grants. The event once again experienced growth by expanding to five golf courses adding North Shore Golf Club. More than $10 million was raised and nearly $7 million granted in 25 years. Golf legend, Arnold Palmer, was the guest of honor.

    2010
  26. 2011

    The U.S. Venture Open raised $1,785,000 in 2011. J. J. Keller Foundation pledged an $800,000 grant match for the next three years. Since 1986, raised more than $12.6 million and granted $8 million. Professional cyclist, Lance Armstrong, was the guest of honor.

    2011
  27. 2012

    The event raised $1,860,000 in 2012 and in 27 years raised more than $14.4 million and granted $9.5 million. Golf legend, Jack Nicklaus, was the guest of honor.

    2012
  28. 2013

    • Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers wide receiver, was the guest of honor
    • $2.125 million raised
    • 816 golfers
    • $16.3 million raised & $11.3 million granted in 28 years
    2013
  29. 2014

    • Henry Aaron, baseball legend, was the guest of honor.
    • $2.314 million was raised with 450 partners.
    • Continued growth required the addition of a sixth golf course. Butte des Morts Country Club was added to accommodate 868 golfers.
    • $18.4 million raised & $14.1 million granted in 29 years.
    • J. J. Keller Foundation renewed their $800,000 annual grant match for another 3 years.
    2014
  30. 2015

    • The U.S. Venture Open raised nearly $30 million in 30 years
    • Bo Ryan, University of Wisconsin basketball coach, was the guest of honor
    • $3,570,408 raised
    • 832 golfers
    2015
  31. 2016

    • Packers legends, Donald Driver, Willie Davis, Jerry Kramer & Paul Hornung were the guests of honor
    • $3,610,500 million raised
    • 801 golfers
    • 1,074 attendees
    • More than $33 million raised in 31 years
    2016
  32. 2017

    • The late U.S. Venture Open founder, Bill Schmidt, was honored for what might be his greatest legacy
    • NBA Champion Dwyane Wade was the guest of honor
    • $3,966,133 raised
    • 867 golfers
    • 1,105 attendees
    • Raised $37 million & granted $24 million in 32 years
    • $5.56 million in new grant commitments
    • J. J. Keller Foundation pledged another annual grant match for 3 more years
    2017
  33. 2018

    • Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was the guest of honor.
    • $4,132,730 raised
    • 861 golfers
    • 1,142 attendees
    • In 33 years raised $42 million & granted $24 million.
    2018
  34. 2019

    • Matthew McConaughey, just keep livin’ Foundation founder, was the guest of honor
    • $5,239,200 raised
    • 929 golfers
    • 1,263 attendees
    • In 34 years raised $46 million & granted $32 million
    2019