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WYSP receives support from new partnerships

June 25, 2013

WYSPEAU CLAIRE — The Wisconsin Youth Success Program on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus has formed new partnerships with local businesses and organizations, which will aid the program in providing continuous resources for area youth.

WYSP is a free five-week summer program offered to youth ages 10-16 in the Chippewa Valley. The program has been offered to the community for more than 30 years as an opportunity for youth to develop leadership, academic and athletic skills. In addition, the program offers free medical exams and dental screenings to each camper. In 2009 all federal funding for the program was removed.

"For each of the past three years, we have had to generate approximately $35,000 to make camp a possibility for the more than 400 children that enroll in WYSP," said Vicki Funne Reed, director of University Recreation and Sport Facilities. "This is accomplished with partnerships with the Altoona and Eau Claire school districts, UW Department of Family Medicine (free medical exams) and the Chippewa Valley Technical College (free dental screenings), as well as donations from many individuals and business, with the Kristo Family Fund via the Eau Claire Community Foundation being a major contributor. The program also receives grants from the Domer Foundation, Anne Marie Foundation, Security Health, Kiwanis and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program. WYSP also receives support from fundraising events such as the Shamrock Shuffle, Friday 5K Fun Runs and the Halloween Hallow."

The newest partners of WYSP are Sacred Heart Hospital, Feed My People Food Bank, Buffalo Wild Wings and the Eau Claire Cavaliers.

"The new partnership with Sacred Heart Hospital provides valuable financial support for expenses such as camper and staff T-shirts and printed materials needed to advertise the program," Funne Reed said. "More importantly, the educational component that the partnership brings to camp fits the mission of WYSP: to help kids with their personal growth and development."

Sacred Heart Hospital is donating resources as well as staff time in support of WYSP. The hospital donated all the camp T-shirts sporting the "GO" campaign logo, which encourages at least 15 minutes of movement each day, and staff members deliver healthy snacks for all campers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Professional staff members from Sacred Heart Hospital will educate campers on topics such as bullying, sleep, meditation/relaxation and nutrition. Additionally, hospital tours for the older campers will provide an opportunity for a behind-the scenes look at careers in health care.

For the first time in 2013, the Feed My People Food Bank is partnering with WYSP to distribute weekend meals to campers with need. Parents and guardians of children that attend camp can sign their child up to receive a meals package of kid-friendly foods for the weekend.

Buffalo Wild Wings invites all community members to dine at its Eau Claire location on Wednesday, June 26, between 4-9 p.m. to benefit the WYSP program. A coupon is required and can be printed from the University Recreation and Sport Facilities website. Ten percent of each bill accompanied by the coupon (excluding alcohol purchases) will be donated to WYSP.

On Tuesday, July 9, all WYSP campers and their families are invited to attend the Cavaliers game at Carson Park. Campers and their siblings will be allowed to attend for free. The regular admission of $5 will apply for adults attending, and $2 of every adult admission on that night will be donated to WYSP.

For more information about WYSP, contact Brittany Matti, camp activity director, at mattibn@uwec.edu or 715-836-4010, or Funne Reed at reedvf@uwec.edu or 715-836-4931.

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