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.
10th Annual Mel's Fun Run/Walk SEPT 28 Cedars III / Cedarburg
Mel's Pig Roast SEPT 29 Cedars III / Cedarburg
Mel’s 300 Fun(d) Team: Making the case for sustainability
For years we’ve lived by two principles: helping our community by having fun and what we raise here stays here. No matter how much our impact grows, we never want to change that. But as we grow, we’re faced with the serious business of sustaining our mission.
That’s why the Mel’s 300 Fun(d) Team was founded.
Three years ago, we came up with a sustainability strategy where we could raise funds for administration and operation without tapping into the proceeds from our events. We rent office space, need office supplies and equipment and have other operational expenses. But we still are committed to returning 100% of the net proceeds from our events to the community.
The 300 Fun(d) Team concept is simple: 300 people donate $300 per year for 3 years. We have been blessed with the pledges of so many people. But we are still about 100 people short of our goal.
If you are already of member of the 300 Fun(d) Team, thanks! If not, we invite you to join the team as a member of the “class of 2021.” No doubt you’ve talked to your friends and family about the good things Mel’s Charities is doing in our community. We encourage you to invite them to join you on the 300 Fun(d) Team. It’s especially important now because if we reach our goal of 300 members by July 1, we will receive an additional $10,000 from a very generous anonymous donor!
We have another saying, “We’re just getting started!” So, we encourage you to continue your support by joining the 300 Fun(d) team or renewing your 3-year commitment.
What We Raise Here Stays Here Mel's Charities Night Lakeshore Chinooks
Since the team’s inaugural season in 2012, Mel’s Charities has been a great partner of the Chinooks. Hosting Mel’s Day at Kapco Park each season attracts a couple of hundred fans to take in a Lakeshore game and raise money for a good cause through Mel’s annual fundraiser. The two organizations have even partnered on two different bobbleheads. The Chinooks front office enjoys participating in Mel’s annual bowling fundraiser and Gill even ran Mel’s 5K back in 2017. The Lakeshore Chinooks look forward to many more years of partnership and friendship leading to enjoying our nation’s favorite pass time and raising money for a good cause.
On this night Mel's Charities will help raise awareness and support STARTING POINT. For more than 40 years, Starting Point has been building healthy communities by empowering individuals and communities through innovative and quality substance abuse prevention and intervention services.
“When we first learned of Tom “Mel” Stanton’s charity organization, we knew it was the type of organization that fit our mission and goals. A non-profit that ensures that funds raised stay in the local community? Ozaukee County will always be in debt to Mel and his efforts with Mel’s Charities. If there were more Mel’s in the world, our society would be a much better place. It has been an honor and pleasure in getting to know and work with Mel along with friends of the Chinooks Ross and Andy and the rest of the great folks who helps makes Mel’s Charities events happen.”
Assistant General Manager
You Can’t Make This Stuff Up, Mel's Stories Sustaining Great Times for Great Causes
In 2008, I received an email from Ozaukee County Administrator Tom Meaux. He was feeling out the possibility of creating an Ozaukee County foundation to help support human service organizations in the county. My initial thought was we were already doing this. I had never met Tom, so I set up a meeting.
I remember the day vividly. Tom knew very little about Mel’s. He asked me to tell our story and about the lives we were impacting. His immediate response was, “I love the model--have fun and give back right here in our neighborhood. I see no reason for the county to pursue creating a foundation. Your group is well on its way in establishing a clearing house for philanthropy in Ozaukee County.” This conversation planted the seed to sustain Mel’s Charities well into the future.
Tom started attending our Great Times for Great Causes. He would always drop me a note and say how impressed he was with our band of fun loving volunteers and our tremendous growth in grant distributions. He always ended with, “How are you going to sustain this?”
Then Mike Conlon reentered my life. My family moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Green Bay my freshman year in high school. The Conlon’s lived across the street from us and our families were forever intertwined. Four years ago, I received an email out of the blue from Mike. We had not seen or talked to each other for 15 years. He mentioned he was living in North Carolina and had had heard about this Mel’s thing from mutual friends. He started researching what we are all about and said he loved our story. The last sentence of his email: “Where can I overnight a $10,000 donation?” I must have reread it 10 times before I picked up the phone and called him, “What the heck are you doing?” He replied, “I love what you are doing--impacting lives, while having fun.” His last question was, “How are you going to sustain Mel’s Charities?”
I told Mike I was beginning to hear that question from a lot from community leaders and that we had a meeting scheduled to discuss it. He said he would be there. Please remember, I had not spoken or seen Mike in 15 years and he lived in North Carolina.
It was humbling that everyone at that meeting did not want us to change! They loved what we were doing and wanted us to continue to disperse 100% of our net proceeds from our events to impact lives in Ozaukee County. But we needed a way to cover our growing administrative and operating costs without tapping into those proceeds. In other words, an additional revenue stream that would sustain our mission.
That’s when the 300 FUN(d) was born. It’s very simple: 300 team members pledging $300 a year for three years. If you’re a team member, thank you! If you’re not a team member, please consider joining. If we receive 95 new members by July 1, we will receive $10,000 from an anonymous donor.
Sustainability applies to personal relationships as well as funding. After 17 years as Ozaukee County Administrator, Tom Meaux now serves on our board in addition to his duties at Ansay and Associates. He was not only the catalyst for the 300 FUN(d) but has also become a good friend. Mike Conlon remains a great friend to me personally and to Mel’s as an organization.
I am having a blast empowering our dysfunctional family (volunteers). The group keeps growing as we add a new generation of young people who are stepping up to help. To see them take on so many responsibilities and lift Mel’s to new heights only strengthens my belief that We Are Just Getting Started.
We are blessed to be a part of this special community!
Tom (Mel) Stanton
A Winding Road
Let me take you back to May 28, 2012, during my broadcasting career. All of us in the press box at Kapco Park were anxiously waiting for the helicopter to drop Gill the Chinook mascot in front of the pitcher’s mound. Everyone in the booth was: (1) frantically trying to find out why the drop was delayed; and (2) trying to keep the fans entertained while not letting on something was wrong. From that point on, Northwoods League baseball became an obsession that took over my life, and I had ZERO interest in doing anything else during the summer. (Just ask my family. Trips were suddenly a nuisance because I wanted to go back to the games so badly.)
I had the great pleasure of working with some of my dearest friends covering 271 Northwoods League games and have great memories that will last a lifetime. (Save for fog delays and press box raves.) I would like to thank the Lakeshore Chinooks, particularly former GM Dean Rennicke and Team President Jim Kacmarzak for giving me an opportunity to grow with this organization from day one--first as a scoreboard operator and music director intern. Former webcast producer Joe LaBarbera could see I had a passion for broadcasting. My mother and I joined him when the team was on the road, gaining more broadcasting experience along the way. I reunited with my long-time friend and mentor Matt Menzl for four of the best summers in my life.
Fast forward to the Chinooks opening day in 2018. I WAS doing something different with my life—watching a Lakeshore Chinooks game from the stands instead of the press box—with my friends from Mel’s Charities and First Bank Financial Center on the outdoor field deck. When I was sitting in the press box seven years ago, working in the non-profit world would have NEVER crossed my mind.
Back to that helicopter incident: Good news for everyone, the helicopter landed safely, and I can honestly say I was genuinely happy to step away from broadcasting and work with Mel's Charities. I cannot wait to see where this winding road called life will take us next.
Digital Media Manager
Mel's Charities, Inc.
My dad went to high school with Mel and had introduced me to him quite a few times. For the most part, Mel existed as just another one of my dad's school buddies that I mixed up with the other hooligans from stories of the past. Once we moved to Wisconsin, about 7 years ago, my parents started regularly attending Mel's Pig Roast. Everytime they returned home, they raved about how neat of a guy Mel was and how passionate he was about the work his organization was doing in the community. Of course, they always mentioned Ross, too (once you meet him, you get why). I would listen to what they had to say, impressed by it all and pleased they had a good time, but, at the same time, wondering how a pig roast could really be all that inspiring or change-making.
It wasn't until I went to my first Pig Roast last year that I was able to see for myself what my parents had told me all those years before, and to realize that they had been nowhere near giving Mel's Charities the credit it deserves. It wasn't until I heard Mel speak about how much money had been raised, how many problems had been tackled, and how many people had been brought together through the founding of Mel's Charities 20 years ago that I was able to better grasp the impact this organization has had on the communities it touches.
Now, I wish I had been able to attend Mel's Pig Roast sooner. Not only was it great time (and the food was really good too), but it was so much more than that. It was a reminder that big, grand gestures aren't always needed to make a big difference in the world; sometimes all it takes is something small, like a gathering at a bowling alley, to truly bring about lasting - and continually growing - change in your community.
Thank you for sharing your mission and the Mel’s story with the Ansay team. It’s truly an incredible story that is impacting a lot of lives. It sounds like we have some individuals that are excited to get involved; numerous ideas have been floated around already.
The Ansay Team
Ansay and Associates
Ross Shares His Thoughts
Throwing out the first pitch at the Chinooks game at Kapco Park was a great experience for Andy Peterson and me. We both played for Ozaukee County Special Olympics as a teammates. Andy is very special to me, like a brother. I have always loved baseball because they have great crowds. Getting to know people who enjoy supporting the lives being impacted and watching many great baseball games is what this event is about.
The Mel’s Night at the Chinooks started their first year in 2012 and that was very special night. It means so much to me how much they reached out to Mel's Charities for this great partnership. They have the greatest staff in the world. Come to the game to see how much fun it is and show your support to many great causes. Kevin Winter used to announce for the Lakeshore Chinooks, now he works as the digital media manager for Mel's Charities.
Thank you for your support and bringing the community to Kapco Park!
Mr. Ross Rintelman
Board Member & Ambassador
Mel's Charities, Inc.
Pigment For a Cause Art Show Cedarburg Art Museum
W63 N675 Washington Ave, Cedarburg May 1 - June 16, 2019 Please Join Mel's Charities at Cedarburg Art Museum as we celebrate our first Pigment for a Cause exhibition.
Our young adults and mentors have worked diligently on creating art for this show.
Events on Behalf of Mel's Helping Us, Helping Others
Round-Up for Mel's The idea of our 'Round Up' campaign originated with Tom (Mel) Stanton. He approached us early last year when discovering we shared 20th anniversaries! After hearing his concept... it took very little time to agree and work out the details. We've been very fortunate to have an amazing amount of local support and think it only right that we return the favor. Mel's 'What We Raise Here Stays Here' fits perfectly with our objective of giving back to the community.
Owner, Wayne’s Drive Inn
Country in the Burg
August 24, 2019
Who is ready to see Country Star Kip Moore along with Josh Thompson & David Nail perform at Country In The Burg on August 24th? Presented by Partnership Bank, Ansay & Associates, LLC Ansay International and FM106.1. All preceeds benefiting Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Wounded Warrior Project and Mel's Charities.