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Celebrate Children's

Celebrate Children’s began as the Emilie Vogel Nunnemacher Luncheon in 1989. Emilie Vogel Nunnemacher was a visionary board member whose gifts of time, leadership and her estate propelled Children’s Hospital forward. Each year, the Nunnemacher Award is given to one donor or family who embody that same passionate spirit of philanthropy. In 2010, the event became an evening reception and two additional philanthropic awards were added; the Legacy Award, which recognizes estate giving, and the Organization Award, which recognizes Children’s corporate and other organization partners. In addition to celebrating the night’s honorees, this annual donor recognition event celebrates Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s benefactors and advocates and the many accomplishments they’ve helped to make possible.

2017 Emelie Vogel Nunnemacher Award winner

Paul and Pat Jones

Paul and Pat Jones epitomize how humble leadership and community-mindedness can activate positive change. Through their support of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, they have taken every opportunity to spread hope—and health—to kids and families. 

Paul and Pat’s philanthropy has touched many aspects of care at Children’s. Over the years, their gifts to the area of greatest need helped us respond nimbly to challenges and opportunities as they would arise—something that is essential to the Children’s mission. Paul and Pat provided vital support to the West Tower addition, where they named the Paul and Pat Jones Patient Room. They have also given generously to the infusion clinic and, most recently, the Herma Heart Institute. As Guardian Society members, they planned a legacy gift that will make the future brighter for Wisconsin kids.

With his belief in servant leadership and his keen ability to anticipate future needs, Paul advocates for Children’s in every way possible. As a former system board director and co-chair of the United Way campaign, Paul leveraged relationships across the state to rally our community around Children’s. As A. O. Smith’s board chairman and CEO between 2005 and 2014, Paul was one of the driving forces behind their corporate giving to Children’s. A. O. Smith continues to generously partner with us.

What ties together Paul and Pat’s service and philanthropy for Children’s is their satisfaction in giving a child the most precious gift: the chance to live a full and healthy life.

2017 Organization Award winner

Ladish Company Foundation

The Ladish Company Foundation was established in 1952 by the company’s founders with the goal of investing in organizations that make Milwaukee a great place to live and improve the lives of Ladish Company employees. Today, now-retired Ladish Company executives Wayne Larsen and Gary Vroman are trustees of the foundation and share a determination to preserve the vision on which it was founded. They believe that Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is one of the most important investments for Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.

The Ladish Company Foundation’s gifts—totaling nearly $3 million over 40 years—have provided transformational support to initiatives such as the West Tower addition, the neonatal intensive care unit renovation, the interventional radiology program, the hybrid cath lab, and the diabetes program. Most recently, they supported the Herma Heart Challenge. This diversity of initiatives reflects their confidence that Children’s is always seeking the best way to help kids, and that the Ladish Company Foundation can play a key role in helping seize new opportunities.

What inspires Wayne and Gary is the comfort Children’s brings to those who need help the most. Kids and families facing their toughest challenges walk through our hospital or clinic doors and immediately know they are not alone. The Ladish Company Foundation has been a tremendous partner in making this possible.

2017 Legacy Award winner

Joan J. and Leesley B. (Buzz) (posthumously) Hardy

Joan and Buzz Hardy invested decades of support, advocacy and volunteerism at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in honor and memory of their two children. They shared 64 years of marriage before Buzz passed away in 2016. Together, Joan and Buzz made a difference for generations of kids who suffer from illnesses faced by their own family.

When their daughter, Anne, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Joan and Buzz became champions for all kids in Wisconsin fighting this disease—at a time when children born with cystic fibrosis often lived for just two years. They were instrumental in beginning the cystic fibrosis program at Children’s and were among the founders of the Wisconsin chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which advocated for improved diagnosis and care throughout the state. 

Over the years, Joan and Buzz supported Children’s through philanthropy and service. They established the Anne Barker Hardy Endowment Fund to support the care and treatment of cystic fibrosis patients and established the Jim Hardy Memorial Lectureship in Mental Health to honor their son, Jim, who battled mental illness. Joan was the first patient family representative to sit on the Children’s hospital board from 1978 to 1991. She also served on the Foundation board and the Children’s Child Abuse Prevention grants committee.

Joan and Buzz’s legacy gift is one more example of responding to tremendous loss by bringing greater hope to families now and well into the future.

Previous year's award winners

Emelie Vogel Nunnemacher Award:
Judith and Joseph (posthumously) Masters (2016)
Judy Gardetto (2015)
Ted D. Kellner & Linda T. Mellowes (2014)
Barri L. and David J. Drury (2013)
The Brotz Family (2012)
Patty and John Noel (2011)
Kathi and Larry Rambo (2010)
Mary Ann and Greg Renz (2009)
The Kellner Family (2008)
Dennis and Jean Bauman (2007)
John and Helen Shiely (2006)
S. Bert Litwin, MD (2005)
Roy and Bobbi Reiman (2004)
Pam and Les Muma (2003)
Edward and Diane Zore (2002)
Susan Herma (2001)
Ted and Mary Kellner (2000)
Joan J. Hardy (1999)
Charles D. Jacobus, Sr. (1998)
John H. Handee, Jr. (1997)
Julia A. Uihlein (1996)
Richard Seaman (1995)
Bernard S. Kubale (1994)
Marie Z. Uihlein (1993)
John C. Geilfuss (1992)
Dr. Walter P. Blount (1991)
Dr. Abraham B. Schwartz (1990)
Sophie Y. Schroeder (1989)

Organization Award:
The Marcus Corporation (2016)
Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (2015)
Northwestern Mutual (2014)
The MACC Fund (2013)
Milwaukee Radio Group (2012)
WHG Applebee's (2011)
Kohl's Corporation (2010)
Briggs & Stratton Corporation (2009)

Legacy Award:
Albert and Shirley Schmidt (2016)
Sue Hansen (2015)
Dr. Fredrick & Kay Austermann (2014)
Dave and Marge Hamacher (2012)
Dr. Roger Cohen (2011)
Mabel Koepke (2010)
Harry Koepke (2009)

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