In #RaiseMKE

Heart of Canal Street, and Betty Brinn are helping to build a better Milwaukee. (PHOTO: K. Adams )

Our Heart of Canal Street partner this year? Betty Brinn Children's Museum is once again honored to support Potawatomi Hotel and Casino's Heart of Canal Street program. As a long-time partner and passionate community advocate we're also thrilled to announced that this year we'll help support the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.

Since it began in 1994, Heart of Canal Street (formerly Miracle on Canal Street) has contributed more than $14.6 million to hundreds of local children's charities. Each year funds are generated through Heart bingo games and other events.

"The Museum is honored to participate as a Heart of Canal Street signature charity in partnership with," said Fern Shupeck, executive director of the Betty Brinn Children's Museum.

"We are deeply grateful to Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for this remarkable program that supports many worthy causes in our community. Thanks to their generosity, our museum will be able to help thousands of disadvantaged children build the skills they need to become accomplished students and productive members of our future workforce." 

Heart of Canal Street will help fund museum outreach programs that benefit 30,000 participants each year, including:

  • Family Focus, a program that provides free parenting education, museum membership, and transportation assistance to more than 1,200 disadvantaged families annually, including families living in poverty, teen parents, foster families, families who do not speak English as a first language, at-risk fathers and others whose circumstances often limit their access to educational experiences.
  • The Special Admissions Program, which provides free and subsidized museum field trips for more than 7,000 children and adults annually, including students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, adults and children with disabilities, and childcare centers and community organizations serving low-income families.
  • Neighborhood Night, an evening each month when the museum offers free admission and educational programs to meet the needs of low-income and working families.
  • Back-to-School Resource Fair, an annual museum event that helps disadvantaged families prepare for a successful school year by distributing free back packs and school supplies to more than 900 children, and providing families with information about school readiness, health and nutrition, literacy, positive parenting, bus safety and after-school programs.

Since opening in 1995, the museum has benefited more than 3.5 million children and adults, including more than 575,000 participants in community outreach programs.

Because Betty Brinn does not receive operating support from organizations like the United Way, or from city, county or state governments, contributions are critical to sustaining its outreach commitments, and the Heart of Canal Street program is especially meaningful in helping the museum support local families that are struggling to raise a young child.

Betty Brinn's mission is supported by the development of hands-on exhibits for children, and adult education programs that focus on building a young child's cognitive, emotional, social and physical skills during their formative years. It is dedicated to helping young children build the fundamental school-readiness skills they need to become accomplished students and successful adults. The museum's commitment to early education represents one of the best, most cost-effective and most critical investments our community can make in its long-term economic and workforce development.

"While quality early learning opportunities benefit all youth, the most significant gains are among children from disadvantaged homes; ensuring that these families can benefit from the museum's educational activities and programs is central to the museum's mission.

While our community offers a broad range of educational opportunities for older children, the Betty Brinn Children's Museum is unique in its capacity to meet the needs of early learners – families who participate in the organization's outreach programs often rely on the museum to help them provide critical school-readiness experiences that they are unable to provide at home," said Shupeck.

Funds for the Heart of Canal Street program are raised primarily through special bingo games played during every bingo session. The entire casino gets involved in making this program a success. These efforts include the property's foodand beverage department, which will designate a percentage of its beer sales to Heart and the table games department which will hold a Heart poker tournament with all funds going to the program.


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