Nearly $1 Million Donated to 30 Local Children's Charities Through Miracle on Canal Street

MILWAUKEE – Thirty children’s charities from southeastern Wisconsin are splitting $989,239 tonight, after Potawatomi Bingo Casino announced the amount of money raised during their 2011 Miracle on Canal Street program. Each charity received $32,841. Additionally, the program surpassed $11 million raised since its inception in 1994.

Money for the program is raised primarily through special Miracle bingo games. The funds have been accumulating throughout the year and the 2011 total was revealed during an event tonight in the Casino’s Nest of Life Bingo Hall.

“It’s a privilege to be part of this program and to help the children these charities serve,” said Melanie Martin, Bingo Director at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. “We see our Miracle charities doing amazing things each and every year. Seeing the great services these organizations provide is truly inspiring.”

The contribution comes at a time when many charities are finding it more difficult to deliver services due to a decrease in contributions. According to the Wisconsin Nonprofit Economic Impact Report, released by Forward Community Investments this week:

  • Thirty-eight percent of 325 Wisconsin non-profit organizations surveyed plan on reducing or modifying services, compared with 33 percent in 2010 and 29 percent in 2009.
  • Twenty-four percent of non-profits had cash reserves of one month or less.

“Contributions received from Miracle on Canal Street mean more today than they ever have,” said Sherrie Tussler, Executive Director of Hunger Task Force. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increase in those seeking help – meaning more children and their families are reliant on the services we, and others like us, provide.”

The organizations benefitting from tonight’s contributions will use Miracle on Canal Street funds to improve the lives of children in our community by addressing multiple needs - from educational services to emergency shelter, from clothing needs to extracurricular activities. One of those organizations, Kids Matter, will use the funds to train dedicated community volunteers who help abused and neglected children find safe loving homes.

 “The children we serve come from situations in which they’ve encountered incredible hardships,” said Susan Conwell, Executive Director of Kids Matter. “The funds we receive from Miracle on Canal Street will go a long way toward comforting the most vulnerable young people in our community.”


The 2011 Miracle on Canal Street charities that received a $32,841 donation Friday night include:

  • Agape Community Center of Milwaukee, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Best Buddies Wisconsin – Milwaukee County
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, Inc. presented by presented by CBS 58 – Milwaukee County
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Racine & Kenosha Counties, Inc. – Racine and Kenosha County
  • Center for Self Sufficiency, Inc.  – Milwaukee County 
  • Christmas Clearing Council of Waukesha County
  • Civic Music Association of Milwaukee, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • COA Youth and Family Centers presented by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – Milwaukee County 
  • Community Advocates, Inc. – Milwaukee County 
  • First Stage Children’s Theater presented by WITI FOX 6 – Milwaukee County
  • Friends of Abused Families, Inc.  – Washington County
  • Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, Inc. presented by Milwaukee Radio Group (WHQG, WJMR, WZBK, WKLH) – Milwaukee County
  • Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, Inc. presented by Lamar Outdoor – Milwaukee County       
  • Kids Matter, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, Inc. presented by The Milwaukee Business Journal – Milwaukee County
  • Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc. presented by WISN TV 12 – Milwaukee County
  • Next Door Foundation – Milwaukee County
  • Peace Learning Center of Milwaukee, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, Inc. presented by Clear Channel Outdoor – Milwaukee County
  • Skylight Opera Theatre – Milwaukee County
  • The Council for the Spanish Speaking, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • The Friends of the Mukwonago Community Library – Waukesha County
  • Variety – The Children’s Charity of Wisconsin, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • VSA Wisconsin, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. – Milwaukee County
  • Wisconsin Humane Society presented by Journal Broadcast Group – Milwaukee County
  • Zoological Society of Milwaukee presented by Clear Channel Radio (WRIT,WMIL,WISN, WKKV, WRNW, WOKY) – Milwaukee County

Nearly 200 charities applied for a chance to be selected for the 2011 Miracle on Canal Street program. Twenty of this year’s charities were chosen through a random drawing held in August. The other 10 were selected as signature charities by the program’s media partners. Children’s charities throughout southeastern Wisconsin can apply for the 2012 program in late spring. Details will be posted on the website at  

Potawatomi Bingo Casino continues to make a significant positive economic impact on both the state and local communities through tribal revenue sharing and support of local charities and community organizations.  “Caring for the Community” is one of five key areas of focus that serve as the foundation for the Casino’s social responsibility efforts entitled Building on a Tradition of Responsibility.

Potawatomi Bingo Casino is one of two casinos owned and operated by the Forest County Potawatomi Community. It is located at 1721 W. Canal Street, Milwaukee, Wis. The casino is a showcase for high stakes bingo, offering some of the nation's highest daily payouts.  A popular attraction for local guests, tourists and tour groups, the casino features blackjack, craps, poker, and roulette table games, video and reel slot machines, and a variety of live entertainment.  Potawatomi Bingo Casino is committed to raising awareness of the risks of problem gambling, maintaining a level of first-class customer service, while investing in its most valuable asset - more than 2,400 multicultural employees.  Through the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation and Miracle on Canal Street, the casino supports numerous local charities and community organizations. Driving directions and more information about Potawatomi Bingo Casino can be obtained by calling toll-free, 1-800-PAYS-BIG or by visiting the website at