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2020 U.S. Venture Open Raises $4,420,455 to End Poverty


Successful pivot to virtual event and media-thon

2020 U.S. Venture Open Raises $4,420,455 to End Poverty

(APPLETON, WIS.) August 12, 2020: The U.S. Venture Open raised $4,420,455 through partner donations, an all-day media-thon and online auction. The 35th annual U.S. Venture Open looked very different this year – with no golfing or celebration dinner at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown. The U.S. Venture Open is proud to have raised more than $51 million throughout the history of the event!

“We couldn’t be more thrilled with the outpouring of support we received from our dedicated partners who come back year after year, and also the individuals who felt the call to contribute for the first time this year. We knew this year would be challenging, but given the circumstances we find ourselves in, we felt compelled to set a high fundraising bar. COVID-19 continues to create instability and uncertainty throughout Northeast Wisconsin and we want to be able to support the non-profit leaders and organizations who go above and beyond to meet the growing needs of our communities,” said John Schmidt, president and CEO of U.S. Venture.

Normally, the U.S. Venture Open golf outing would be held at multiple regional golf courses culminating in an evening dinner at Van Abel’s of Hollandtown with a guest of honor. This year in partnership with WBAY-TV & Woodward Radio Group the event went into a virtual space and was designed to educate, activate and inspire individuals to give.

“We would not have been able to do this without the general public stepping up in a big way, largely due to the unprecedented support of local media, WBAY-TV 2 & Woodward Radio Group giving us a great platform to spread the word,” said Greg Vandenberg, director of giving and community engagement for U.S. Venture. “In the current climate, media tends to be viewed critically or politically, but WBAY and Woodward stepped up and showed how important and caring our local media is to our community. They are changing the narrative.”

Matching grants from regional partners are key to sustaining the work of the funding behind the U.S. Venture Open, the Basic Needs Giving Partnership. The J. J. Keller Foundation established a legacy of offering matching funds for grant making. Their $800,000 grant-making investment has been joined by other lead grant partners, including Oshkosh Corporation at $250,000, ThedaCare at $200,000, and the Thrivent Foundation at $200,000. With U.S. Venture’s added $800,000 donation, the grant matching increased to $2.25 million, effectively matching every dollar donated through the U.S. Venture Open in 2020.

The strategies of this charitable effort support long-term solutions to move people out of poverty in four key areas of education, economic sustainability, physical and mental wellness, and social connectedness.


About the U.S. Venture Open
The U.S. Venture Open is the nation’s single largest one-day charitable event dedicated to ending poverty. The event started in 1986 with 100 golfers and has grown to 1,260 attendees in 2019 representing more than 500 partners who golf at regional courses to raise money for programs that help end poverty. U.S. Venture underwrites all costs of the event. The funds raised are held within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, with grants made to non-profit organizations in ten counties across Northeast Wisconsin.

About the Basic Needs Giving Partnership
The Basic Needs Giving Partnership aims to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. The funds raised through the U.S. Venture Open from generous corporations, family foundations and individuals are administered by grant teams established at three community foundations. The awarded grants support nonprofits collaborating to coordinate services for people in need throughout Northeast Wisconsin, with a focus on the organizations that are embracing continuous improvement, social innovation, shared measurement, sustainability and scalability.

About U.S. Venture, Inc.
U.S. Venture is committed to giving back in the communities in which we live, work and play.

For more than 65 years, U.S. Venture, Inc. has been recognized as an innovative leader in the distribution of petroleum and renewable energy products, lubricants, tires and parts, and using data-driven insights to manage energy and information in the global movement of goods.

Guided by its company vision, “Will be the very best provider of transportation products and insight driving the world forward.,” they deliver unconventional, creative solutions which benefits customers, team members, and the people who live and work in the communities they serve. Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, the company’s business divisions are U.S. Oil, U.S. AutoForce®, U.S. Lubricants, U.S. Gain, Breakthrough, and IGEN.

Contact Information:
Dawn Ruchala
Manager, U.S. Venture Open
[email protected]