Cedarburg, Wis., June 25, 2015 – A new band shell will serve as the centerpiece of a reimagined Cedar Creek Park and a permanent gift to the people of Cedarburg from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation in partnership with the Greater Cedarburg Foundation.
In celebration of its 100th year of service, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation is providing regional gifts to help create lasting public spaces in each of the four counties it serves. The Foundation’s centennial gift of $200,000 supports the band shell renovation as part of a larger initiative to improve Cedar Creek Park led by the Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club, Greater Cedarburg Foundation, Cedarburg Parks and Recreation Department and the City of Cedarburg.
“This project will give the people of Cedarburg a renewed place to gather and play, fitting for this vibrant city.” said Ellen M. Gilligan, president and CEO of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. “The renovation of this band shell in the heart of downtown reflects perfectly our intention to support public spaces that further energize a community.”
The five-acre Cedar Creek Park serves as a meeting place, concert venue, picnic area and playground for the community. The band shell is host to the weekly Summer Sounds concert series, festival events and Fourth of July activities.
The renovation entails replacing the existing, 50-year-old band shell with a substantially larger facility that will include an enlarged stage, an extended roof, storage space for musical equipment and all new electrical service and lighting. Improved landscaping will complete the park plan. Local architectural firm, Groth Design Group, donated its services in designing a new facility using natural timbers and stone capable of attracting larger bands, accommodating theatrical performances and providing a better overall experience for the audience.
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation worked closely with the Greater Cedarburg Foundation to identify the band shell as the project that would have the most positive impact in the community. The Greater Cedarburg Foundation is a supporting organization and regional partner of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
“This is a wonderful gift from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, and we were quick as a foundation to present this project, having many ideas we were considering,” said Chris Smith, president of the Greater Cedarburg Foundation. “It shows the community how strong the partnerships between organizations like Rotary and their community foundation are, with the shared goal of improving what already is a great place to both live and visit.”
The gift launches a major fund drive by the Rotary Club to raise the funds needed to complete the park renovation project. The Rotary, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, has committed $150,000 to the project. The total project cost is estimated at $625,000.
“We are extremely grateful to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation for this generous gift,” said Rotarian Ryan Olsen, who is leading the fundraising efforts. “Cedar Creek Park has long been a hub of family activity in Cedarburg. By enhancing the park with a new band shell and upgraded landscaping, we will create a venue that has a lasting impact on the community for many years to come.”
Construction on the band shell is expected to begin in August. A grand opening and dedication ceremony is planned for the summer of 2016.
For a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,200 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world. Ending 2014 with more than $841 million in assets, it is also among the largest.