For more than 20 years, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has contributed millions of dollars to children’s charities across southeastern Wisconsin through its signature program, Miracle on Canal Street.

Beginning this year, Miracle will now be known as Heart of Canal Street, to better illustrate its place in the community.

“Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is in the heart of Milwaukee and the heart of the Menomonee Valley,” said Mike Goodrich, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino general manager. “Our heart has always been at the center of our giving. And now it’s in our name – Heart of Canal Street.”

In addition to this change, the casino has selected a “Charity of Choice” to partner with. The first $100,000 raised this year will be given to a program that addresses the most critical issue facing youth in our community – violence in the central city.

Our partnership with Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board’s pilot program, Youth Works MKE, will work to help reduce the effects of gun violence in Milwaukee.

“Potawatomi’s ongoing commitment to supporting our youth is extraordinary. We are thrilled to have been selected as their charity of choice,” said Earl Buford, President and CEO, Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. “Youth Works MKE will expand upon our successful youth programs. We are looking forward to implementing this new evidence-based model.”

This program will complement Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s successful Earn and Learn program. Youth Works MKE was modeled after One Summer Plus, a Chicago-based program that combines a part-time summer job with proven cognitive behavioral therapy-based programming. Participants in the Chicago program showed a 51 percent reduction in violent-crime arrests seven months after completing the program.

“I would like to thank Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for investing in the young people in our community,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “By providing funds to launch this visionary new program, they will help young adults become productive members of our future workforce.”

Since its inception in 1994, Heart of Canal Street has contributed more than $14.6 million to hundreds of charities.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is excited to partner with the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board to help bring this program to Milwaukee.