The Green Bay Packers Foundation has awarded $250,000 impact grants to both the Jackie Nitschke Center and St. Norbert College, the organization announced Tuesday.
The grants are matching grants, requiring each organization to raise an additional $250,000 in order to secure the donation from the Packers Foundation.
The Jackie Nitschke Center Inc., the recipient of the Packers Foundation's Impact Grant, will direct the funds from the impact grant toward a new multi-day family education and recovery program. Named in honor of Jackie Nitschke, the wife of Packers great Ray Nitschke, the Jackie Nitschke Center Inc., provides affordable, superior substance abuse treatment in a home-like environment to improve the quality of life for adult clients and their families.
"The Green Bay Packers Foundation's generosity will allow the Jackie Nitschke Center to establish an effective family program resulting in a higher quality of life for family members affected by the illness of addiction," said William LaBine, executive director of the Jackie Nitschke Center. "We thank the Packers Foundation for this opportunity."
St. Norbert College, the recipient of the Staff Impact Grant, will direct the funds from the impact grant toward the expansion and renovation of the Schuldes Sports Center. The renovated facility, to be named the Mulva Family Fitness and Sports Center, will house the college's indoor athletics program and will house the Green Knight basketball and volleyball teams. The expansion project will include the addition of a state-of-the-art fitness center, a new swimming pool and administrative offices for the athletics staff.
"We are tremendously grateful to the Green Bay Packers Foundation for this generous support," said Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College. "The Packers and St. Norbert have a long and multifaceted relationship that is unique among NFL franchises. We appreciate and value that relationship, and like the Packers, we try to put it to work for the larger Green Bay-area community."
"The Packers Foundation and the Packers are proud to support two organizations that work to make a difference, whether it be supporting area families and individuals with treatment for substance abuse or providing outstanding fitness and athletic facilities for students and community members," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "Through these grants, St. Norbert College and the Jackie Nitschke Center can continue to have direct and lasting impacts on Northeast Wisconsin and beyond."
The Packers Foundation now has distributed more than $6.4 million for charitable purposes since it was established in 1986 by Judge Robert J. Parins, then-president of the Packers Corporation, "as a vehicle to assure continued contributions to charity." Including impact grants and the annual grant cycle, the Foundation awarded 238 grants in 2015, totaling $1.1 million. A component of the Green Bay Packers Give Back program, the grants, combined with other Green Bay Packers charity endeavors, contributes to a comprehensive Packers charity impact that was in excess of $6.5 million in the past year.
The Green Bay Packers Foundation Trustees include Terry Fulwiler (chairman), Tom Arndt, Valerie Daniels-Carter, Rick Chernick, Ricardo Diaz, Jerry Ganoni, Larry McCarren, Mark McMullen, Tom Olson and Hon. John Zakowski. Bobbi Jo Eisenreich is the secretary of the Foundation.