Mel’s Charities mission is to provide Great Times for Great Causes, supporting non-profit organizations in Ozaukee County. We have a strong emphasis in special needs, human services and memorial scholarships.
In this Issue
2019 Signature Events
Our Brand - PKA Marketing
You Can't Make This Up
Ross Shares His Thoughts
300 Fun(d) Club
2019 Mel's Charities
BC's 8 Pin Tap Bowling MAY 10-11
Cedars III / Cedarburg
Mel's Night Lakeshore Chinooks JUNE 14
Kapco Park / Mequon
Melapalooza Music and Softball JULY 19-20
Centennial Park / Grafton
Mel's Pig Scramble Golf Outing JULY 29 River Club / Mequon
10th Annual Mel's Fun Run/Walk SEPT 28 Cedars III / Cedarburg
Mel's Pig Roast SEPT 29 Cedars III / Cedarburg
What We Raise Here Stays Here
PKA Marketing and the Famous Smiling Pig
Have you ever wondered where Mel’s Charities “Smiling Pig “originated? PKA Marketing has created all aspects of marketing for Mel’s Charities including strategic planning, brand development, advertising, digital/web, print collateral, photography, and video just to name a few. This totals over 1000-man hours every year and Mel’s has never received a bill. PKA offices are located in Mequon, but they work with clients all over the world. Many PKA employees live in Ozaukee County and appreciate all Mel’s Charities has done for our community. Bruce Prom’s, CEO PKA Marketing, the family has lived in Ozaukee County for four generations and believes in giving back to his community. Bruce has traveled to many places in the world, but loves living in Cedarburg/Grafton. Below are some thoughts from Bruce on PKA’s relationship with Mel’s.
I have been friends with Tom Stanton for over 40 years and when he told us what he was trying to do to help our friends in the area…we jumped in with both feet. We knew that Tom and Mel’s Charities was doing great things, but his charities and events were basically unknown to the general public. “Our marketing firm, PKA put Mel’s on the map with the “Smiling Pig” which was created around Tom’s original fundraiser…Mel’s Pig Roast.” “We do an amazing amount of free work for Mel’s because every penny that we raise goes to those in need in our neighborhoods.” “PKA is not a large MarCom firm but we are proud to do great things for organizations like Mel’s Charities!”
The Mel’s Charities logo and “Smiling Pig” is seen everywhere in Ozaukee County…on hats, shirts, coats, posters, TV, YouTube videos, and piggy banks.
So, with that said, I think PKA Marketing and Mel’s Charities has been a great team. We have fun helping others and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. All of us at PKA look forward to putting many more smiles on the faces of those less fortunate in our area.
Bruce Prom, CEO, PKA Marketing
Pictured: Bruce's daughter Kelly, her husband Brett, Bruce Prom, Nancy Prom
Community Spotlight Olsen's Piggly Wiggly
When we look at all the different requests for funding and sponsorship, our goal is to touch as many people as possible. Mel’s is a great example of an organization that is always looking for ways to do the same thing. Partnering with Mel’s on multiple events allows us to touch more lives to make a positive impact in many different areas of our community. And who doesn’t want to support an organization who stands behind the words of “Great Times for Great Causes."
Ryan Olsen, Owner, Olsen's Piggly Wiggly
Our community is very blessed to have Ryan Olsen. Piggy Wiggly supports so many great organizations. From bottled water, nickel program, gift cards, financial support and the use of their iconic Mr. Pig, we are grateful to Ryan & the Olsen Family for believing in our mission for so many years. In the future, we look forward to sharing with you another exciting partnership with Olsen's Piggly Wiggly!
Tom (Mel) Stanton
Enclosed you will find a picture of the concrete access ramp that was installed at a home in Port Washington for a seriously challenged individual. We want to thank you for responding so generously to our earlier plea for support to facilitate its installation. The young man and his mother are so grateful to have a safe, wide egress from their home that will withstand winter and easily cleared when it snows.
May your blessings be many as we all continue in our efforts to seek and meet opportunities that make a difference.
James P. Meyer
Board of Directors
Habitat for Humanity Ozaukee
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Mel's Stories The Birth of a Brand
It is very humbling to be told what a strong brand Mel’s Charities has become in Ozaukee County. When people see our logo, they know it’s going to be something FUN, and then you link it with our signature event smiling pigs, you have the perfect brand for Great Times for Great Causes! That brand evolved from a chance interaction with one family.
In the mid-1980s, shortly after college, the good Lord landed me in Ozaukee County. I knew a handful of people from Cedarburg, including Kevin Prom. Kevin was ahead of his time: working full time; going to MSOE and buying and fixing up duplexes. He asked me to be his roommate in a duplex he had just purchased in Grafton. It worked out perfectly because Kevin worked nights and never had to put up with me!
I later met Kevin’s parents and siblings. His dad Arnie was a fantastic mechanic and fixed my car on numerous occasions. The only payment he asked for was to have an adult beverage with him when I picked it up. His mom Shirley bailed me out on numerous occasions by cleaning up the duplex at the appropriate time. I also got to know Kevin’s twin sister Karen and his brothers Brian and Bruce. Since Bruce lived in Ozaukee County, our lives frequently crossed on the softball field. The Proms were a very special family.
Then life happened, and we all went our separate ways. But I always could reach out to Kevin and his family anytime…anywhere. Whenever I would run into Bruce, he mentioned how Mel’s Pig Roast was doing so much good in the community. He asked if we could meet at his advertising agency, PKA Marketing in Mequon (officially, Prom Krog Altstiel, Inc.). I knew Bruce was the “P” in PKA, but I would never have imagined how that first meeting would grow into such a great partnership. Bruce said, “I believe in you and your group and we’d like to donate our time and talent to develop a brand for Mel’s.” In this month’s feature article, you will read what Bruce and his team at PKA have created over the years for Mel’s Charities. I try my best to say thank you, but words will never do justice. I am forever grateful.
One last thing, Arnie and Shirley Prom are no longer with us, but I think about them often. You see, for over 15 years, my wife Nancy and I have lived on the same street where this story all began--just a few houses away from where the Prom kids grew up and would go on to impact our lives in so many ways. God bless the Prom family.
We are blessed to be a part of this special community!
Tom (Mel) Stanton
Kevin's Corner A few dates that changed everything. Those who know me well understand I have an affinity for dates. So, for my first article in “Impact”, I’m going to throw out a few.
February 17, 2006: I wanted to participate in sports, but my wheelchair presented safety concerns for others on the floor. My teacher and the commissioner of the league hatched an idea for a website featuring a weekly recap of game action called "Kevin's Corner." This led to announcing play-by-play for every sport from grade school to high school, including Land O’Lakes baseball.
June 3, 2011: Graduation day from high school. I set my sights on Concordia University Wisconsin to continue a career in broadcasting, but after three years the Lord had other plans. In my senior year, Concordia partnered with Bethesda Lutheran Communities to give high school students with developmental disabilities the opportunity to go to college. I devoted my last senior project to building a public relations project for the school. I dialed back my broadcast commitments, thinking I would take a job with the school after graduation.
That didn’t happen. I was at a crossroads, sitting at home looking for something to do.
November 17, 2017: A date that again changed my life. Mel asked me to attend a meeting at PKA Marketing. Bruce Prom sat back in his chair and began peppering me with questions, many of which I could not answer.
“What do you want to do with your life? What did they teach you in college? You’re an announcer, right? Why don’t you announce soccer?” The questions continued for what seemed like an eternity until he asked one that made me so scared my palms began to sweat.
He probably sensed I didn’t have a clear direction for my life, so he finally said, “You know there is no reason you can’t do what we do. Have you ever used a camera or a Mac?” Um, no and definitely no.
He went into a back room and dug out a camera and pulled out some Mel’s promotional items produced by PKA. He spent the next half hour giving me a crash course in graphic design and photography. Full disclosure, I failed art in school. I wanted nothing to do with this. Weeks went by, and he kept pushing, “Before long, you are going to help us out, trust me.”
January 6, 2018: I am sitting in Mel’s Global Headquarters with George Wamser, production art manager at PKA, a man to whom I am in great debt. First, I have to give him props for not only loading EVERY file PKA had ever created for Mel’s onto two hard drives, but also for making it look like he never opened the box when I unwrapped it two weeks later. He spent nearly five hours teaching me the basics of the Adobe suite (and making several trips back to the store because “Apple made unnecessary changes again.”)
George and I have exchanged thousands of emails and phone calls since then, and ANY time I have a question, or I feel a task is beyond my skillset he patiently drops what he is doing and talks me through the roadblock or fixes my work. I am grateful to Mel’s, Mr. Prom and Mr. Wamser for helping me find a sense of purpose through this work.
Twelve years ago, I NEVER would have given this line of work a thought, but here we are.
May 10, 2019: BC’s 8-Pin Tap at Cedars III. Maybe not the biggest milestone in my life, but something I’m looking forward to. You see, I love bowling, and while I’ll probably never match George in graphic design skills, I might just beat him on the lanes.
Digital Media Manager
Mel's Charities, Inc.
Ross Shares His Thoughts
Bruce from PKA marketing he has a big heart. I love our smiling pigs, they make me happy when I see them. PKA marketing does so much for Mel’s Charities, I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Olsen's Piggly Wiggly of Cedarburg, our official grocery, the store located in downtown Cedarburg and we are very appreciative of all they do for us. They provide bottled water for Mel’s events. I love seeing Ryan, he is always so nice to me and very special.
I have a great relationship to Kevin Winter and I appreciated him so much. Kevin is a great person to be with and he loves working with everyone, especially me at the office. I always have fun with Kevin even if I have a bad day, he always brightens my day.
Mr. Ross Rintelman
Board Member & Ambassador
Mel's Charities, Inc.
300 Fun(d) We are looking for 300 people to give $300 for 3 years to help sustain Mel’s mission long into the future and allow for greater support of our local communities. - Tom “Mel” Stanton.