Current Community Needs Wishlist

We are trying something new at LCF! Local nonprofit organizations can now submit a request for funding of special projects in our new online NPO Wishlist. The current ‘wishes’ are listed below.

In addition, the following link will take you to a spreadsheet showing a list of needs in the community that we are aware.

Giving Opportunities for Donor Advised Fundholders

If you’re interested in supporting one of these worthy causes, please give us a call at (608) 782-3223.

Friends of the Refuge – Mississippi Pools 7 & 8

Amount requested: $350.00

This request is for two, 14-piece ScatCast Replica sets from Acorn Naturalists, at a cost of $151.47 each plus postage and handling.

The mission of FOR78 is to support environmental education, and to connect the community (in our case, the La Crosse area) to the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. We also manage the Prairie Wind Nature Store at the Refuge District Headquarters on Brice Prairie.

The Refuge Rangers and FOR78 members conduct environment education programs for adults and children. And children are fascinated by — you guessed it — scat! Refuge creatures are often identified more by what they leave behind and these two scat replica sets (one for FOR78 and one for Refuge staff) include replicas of all the animals on the Refuge, with the possible exception of cougar.

The replicas will give program participants a chance to learn more about the animals on the Refuge, their habitats, behavior and food choices. Having a visual representation will also serve as a conversation starter, especially for more reserved students. Ultimately, participants will have a better understanding and appreciation for the Wildlife Refuge and its charge to protect the resources within it.

Submitted: 6/7/19

Alzheimer’s Association

Amount requested: $1,500

The La Crosse Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2019, on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. Over 500 participants are expected to join together, with a goal to raise $90,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. We are asking for your consideration in becoming a 2019 Walk to End Alzheimer’s sponsor. Every dollar advances the fight against Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association is a global organization, working to advance care, support and research across the world. Your donations make a difference in the lives of millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s today and those who will face the disease tomorrow.

These dedicated, local walkers are the sons, daughters, friends, spouses, co-workers and caregivers of those affected by or lost by the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed.The Alzheimer’s Association educates and offers support to La Crosse area families going through the dementia journey. Through area education programs, support groups, and care consultations, caregivers and people with dementia learn that they’re not alone. We also have a helpline open 24/7. There are 110,000 people in Wisconsin living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to rise. That means we have almost 200,000 caregivers in this state.

Submitted: 5/21/19

School District of Onalaska Envirothon Club

Amount requested: $1,000

Onalaska High School’s Evnirothon Club recently won the State Land +Water Envirothon competition in Stevens Point and qualified as the Wisconsin represent to the national competition at North Carolina State University. All expenses are paid for by the national organization except air-fare. Our School District only provides financial support for clubs or co-curricular groups up to the state level. It does not provide financial support for national trip for clubs or co-curricular organizations. In the past, if students competed they did so at the expense of the parents or local fundraisers. This letter is to request partial funding for plane fare for the student group members. The adults going will be paying for their transportation on their own.
Please see the story from the Coulee Courier below:

From the Coulee Courier April 26, 2019:
Onalaska High School won the Wisconsin Land+Water’s Envirothon, the top environmental science challenge designed by natural resources professionals and educators. The contest, held at the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt April 12, is sponsored by the Outdoor Heritage Education Center. Onalaska will represent Wisconsin this summer at the NCF-Envirothon Competition at North Carolina State University in Raleigh July 28-Aug. 2.
The Wisconsin challenge tested students in four categories: forestry, soils/land use, aquatic ecology and wildlife. In addition to winning the overall competition, Onalaska won in aquatic ecology and team presentations.

Submitted: 4/30/2019

Rotary Works Foundation

Amount requested: $2,500

We are seeking support for the privately funded Riverside Park Band Shell. For decades we have only had a stage, which is currently being restored and renovated. Our group of users of that stage are working to add an acoustical band shell to protect the stage and performers. Also, enabling the community theater to hold outside summer plays in Riverside Park. Our group appreciates your consideration of supporting this exciting addition to Riverside Park.

Submitted:  4/13/2019

La Crosse Jazz Orchestra

Amount requested: $2,500

The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra will again present five free performances through our Jazz in the Park Concert Series. The total budget for these events is $35,000. The Jazz Orchestra is requesting support for either of our two of our guest artist concerts. Debbie O’Keefe is a sensational vocalist who hails from Minneapolis and is recognized nationally as an outstanding jazz vocalist. Michael Nelson is a world renowned jazz trombonist who also was “the artist known as Prince’s” arranger and band member.  Each performance requires a rehearsal and concert involving 18 musicians and a sound engineer.

Submitted: 4/12/2019

Heart2Heart Pet Lifeline, Inc.

Amount requested:  $350

Recognizing the healing power of companion animals, Heart2Heart Pet Lifeline’s mission is to keep pets out of shelters and in loving homes by providing financial help for veterinary care. We serve income eligible pet owners in La Crosse County by providing grants averaging $350 per person. Most applicants are referred by a veterinarian or an animal shelter. Census and pet ownership estimates show that 3200 La Crosse County households with pets live in poverty.

If your life has been made brighter by a companion animal, you know how much pets give us: love, laughter, better health. The most careful and caring pet owner can face financial hardships. When pet owners cannot afford vet expenses, they see two choices: surrender their pet to already crowded rescues or keep their beloved animal at home, where the animal may suffer and pay the cost with poor health. We offer an alternative that helps the pet, the family and our animal welfare community.

Your donation helps us make the world a better place, one pet at a time.

Submitted: 2/24/2019


Hamilton Elementary School (La Crosse School District)

Amount requested: $2,500

“Discovering Your Future Self,” is a creative writing project that will assist in guiding Hamilton Elementary 3rd-5th grade students on an exploration of self, to discover what their hopes, dreams, and purpose is. Being a school where students of color make up the majority of the student body, we must do better at being culturally responsive to this need and bringing positive adult representation into our building that allows students to see themselves. We will partner with, Ajamou Butler, Founder of Heal the Hood, out of Milwaukee, WI. Ajamou is an activist out of Milwaukee, WI who has experience and passion in working with youth inspiring hope, healing, action, and change.

Ajamou will come to Hamilton on three different occasions from April, 2019-June, 2019; he will work with students on their creative writing project. Students will use the skills they learn from the writing workshops to create a book about the discovery of their future self. These will be picture books, in which students are the illustrators of their story. Donations will be used to fund Ajamou’s time and travel.


Earth Fair Committee/Sustainability Institute

Amount requested:  $1,000

The Earth Fair is a FREE annual family event in Myrick Park on Sunday, April 28, 2019, from 11am-5pm. The fair hosts many “green” vendors, hands-on activities for kids, live demonstrations, live music, a farmer’s market, food vendors, and much more. We are looking for donations to help pay for the live demonstrations/presentations, such as live raptors, a drum circle, speakers, and live music.

The fair usually attracts about 2,000 attendees from all over the Coulee Region. The $1,000 donation request would be considered a Gold Sponsorship, a $500 donation a Silver, and $250 a Bronze, which would also be listed in our event guides, event signage, and website. Thank you for your consideration!

Submitted: 2/17/2019

AV Civil Air Patrol, Inc.

Amount requested:  $1,000

Nine years ago the United States Air Force provided AVCAP with a surplus F-16 simulator cockpit. Using that cockpit, the members of AVCAP came together and built a mobile airplane flight simulator at a cost of more than $20,000.  Over the past nine years the simulator has visited local schools, festivals, air shows, and community events. More than 6,000 youth have experienced flight and learned STEM principles from the simulator.

However, the simulator is now nine years old and is showing its age. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $5,000. To date AVCAP has raised $3,500 to support the project. Once the project is complete, it will again be the cornerstone of our organization’s “Aerospace Field Day” experience that we offer at no charge to local schools, homeschool groups, and youth groups.

Submitted: 2/14/2019

GROW La Crosse

Amount Requested:  $1,013

We are so close! We are trying to open 312 free spots this year for farm camp. We’re collaborating with the district and have the cost per child down to $23 for the entire week. We have already raised $6,952 and are just looking for the final $1,013.

At camp, children experience time outside which has shown to have many benefits. They also are engage in every aspect of food production: planting, harvesting, tending and tasting. Animal care is also a big hit.

Submitted: 2/5/2019

GROW La Crosse

Amount Requested:  $1,033

The Youth Garden Symposium is coming to Wisconsin this year! This conference is held at different locations each year. We would like to send two staff to improve and enhance our services. The conference is July 10-13 in Madison, WI.  Total cost is $1,033 for two people.

Thank you for considering!

Submitted: 2/5/2019

La Crosse Area Underwater Rescue and Recovery Unit (Dive Unit)

Amount Requested: $2,000

It is hard to imagine; there are currently 150 active missing person cases in Wisconsin. The La Crosse Dive Unit assists law enforcement agencies locate victims in water environments in the County of La Crosse and surrounding areas. The Dive Unit uses many techniques to fulfill its mission of underwater rescue and recovery. One such technique is using human remains detection (HRD) dogs to assist in pinpointing drowning victims. Because of their extraordinary abilities, dogs are often able to reduce the time spent searching, thereby increasing the probability that the drowning victim can be found in time for resuscitation (up to one hour in cold water situations), potentially saving a life. Finding a victim quickly is vitally important in providing answers to victims’ families. Currently, the Dive Unit has two dogs that are certified in land and water HRD and one in training. The dogs and their handlers participate in ongoing rigorous hands-on weekly training activities focused in search and rescue which includes yearly certification testing by National organizations. The Dive Unit will be co-hosting a K9 certification seminar in May. We are looking to partially fund instructor costs in partnership with Minnesota-Wisconsin K9 Search and Rescue and purchase HRD source material. The source material is used in training and at the certification seminars. Your donation, will help prepare our volunteer members to meet the future emergency service needs of our community. Thank you!

Submitted: 1/25/2019

La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program, Inc.

Amount Requested: $2,500

In 2018, over 300 veterans were arrested and jailed in La Crosse County. Many of these veterans struggle with service-connected mental and behavioral health issues such as post traumatic stress, substance abuse and addiction. With over 7,000 veterans in La Crosse County alone, the need for support services is immense. For the betterment of our community, our veterans and their families, the La Crosse Area Veterans Mentor Program, Inc. (LAVMP), a charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is requesting financial support to fund our “Community Veterans Group” and our “REBOOT: Combat Recovery” course. The Community Veterans Group is a peer-facilitated substance abuse support group that will serve veterans and their families. The REBOOT: Combat Recovery is a curriculum-based course focusing on the spiritual aspects of combat recovery. Funding will provide course materials, flyers, refreshments, facility costs and training.

Submitted: 1/15/2019

Onalaska Arts Commission, Onalaska Enhancement Foundation/Sculpture Group

Amount Requested: $1,500

The Onalaska Sculpture Group, while using the Onalaska Enhancement Foundation as our 501C3, are raising funds to bring a beautiful sculpture to the Great River Landing plaza at the intersection of Hwy. 35 and Main Street, Onalaska. This is part of a plan of the city to enhance the plaza and bring a beautiful piece of public art to the City of Onalaska, and the Coulee Region. This bronze and cut glass sculpture, designed and to be built by Michael Martino, a local sculptor, will have embossed wildlife on either side of the arcs. The inside of the loop will have a saying about Onalaska, and the cut glass will reflect onto the base creating colored sparkles of light. We feel this sculpture will soon become a symbol of Onalaska for our citizens and anyone who travels the Great River Road.

Submitted: 1/9/2019

Causeway Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers, Inc.

Amount Requested: $2,500

Adults with dementia have feelings that are often difficult to express due to cognitive impairments in language, memory, and executive function. Expressing frustration, boredom, anxiety, or pain may be expressed as resistance, agitation, wandering, frequent requests for help, and calling out. Up to 90% of persons with dementia experience one or more of these symptoms during the course of their illness and impacts the person’s ability to cope with stress. Caregiver impatience or rushing, clinician assessments, unfamiliar surroundings, and an over-stimulating environment can provoke distress. The Peer Caregiver Support Program is creating “Lap-tivities” bags for staff at health, veteran and care facilities to give to caregivers to facilitate a purposeful activity through the use of the bag’s contents. “Lap-tivities” provides an opportunity for cognitive stimulation as well as opening dialogue between caregiver and older person with dementia.

“Lap-tivities” Bag contents vary but will contain up to three of the following:

Busy Blanket

• Busy Blanket – 17” x 17”Quilt comprised of creative activity squares
• “Tangles” Activity Loop
• Stuffed Animal (dog or cat) or Doll Companion
• Mesh Ball Fidget



All bags include Caregiver Use Card, Activity Suggestions, Stress Relief Tips and Agency Resources.

Submitted: 1/7/2019

La Crosse Public Education Foundation

Amount Requested: $2,500

The La Crosse Public Education Foundation is seeking $15,000 to match a $15,000 grant from an anonymous donor to purchase five (5) books for each Kindergarten through fourth grade child to take home to read over the summer. Approximately 2500 students from nine elementary schools will take home five books and a recipe card guide for the parents on how to encourage and support their children to continue to read and learn throughout the summer.

Submitted: 1/4/2019

Mid West Music Fest

Amount Requested: $2,500

Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) produces a two-day, multi-genre music fest in downtown La Crosse. In 2019, it will take place on May 17 and 18th and feature 200 musicians on seven stages to a crowd of 2,000 people. MWMF’s mission is to promote music in the region, creating opportunities for artists, stimulating downtown economic development, and providing diverse economic resources for artists, community members, and children.

MWMF patron feedback requested more children’s activities at the festival. We will schedule more activities for children and their parents during the Saturday afternoon time of the festival. May 2019’s festival will feature two performance stages in the Oktoberfest grounds. “The Parenting Place,” is partnering with us to provide their expertise in quality family programming. We are overseeing booking & organizing the performances.

Acts for children include a puppeteer; an interactive stage where children can play along with an accomplished musician through the aid of live-looping technology; & the “Dangerous Fun Show,” a huge hit with families at other music festivals that we have attended. This show features a performance artist who breathes fire, lays on a bed of nails, & lets kids stand on his back while he lay on a bed of glass. One stage features La Crosse high school students performing between sets, giving the youth a chance to play to an audience with the benefit of professional sound, light, & staging equipment.

Submitted: 12/13/2018

La Crosse Community Theatre

Amount Requested: $2,500

La Crosse Community Theatre is implementing a new program called The Penguin Project. The Penguin Project was formed in 2004 and has evolved into a National program with 28 Chapters across 15 states. Once a year, a group of children take the stage to perform a modified version of a Broadway musical. These productions are unique, however, because all of the roles are filled by young artists with developmental disabilities, including down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, visual impairment, hearing impairment and other neurological disorders. They are joined onstage by a dedicated group of peer mentors – children the same age without disabilities who have volunteered to work side-by-side with them through 4 months of rehearsals and through the final performance. The program provides a supportive environment for children with disabilities to explore their creative talents. It has also demonstrated that participation in the performing arts has a therapeutic value by enhancing social interaction, communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. The impact of the program has reached beyond the stage to create a social network for children who previously had very few friends and limited social opportunities. The relationships that are formed between these children create a mutual admiration and respect that both carry with them for the rest of their lives. Please consider helping LCT make The Penguin Project a reality.

Submitted: 12/10/2018

Mid West Music Fest

Amount Requested: $1,500

Mid West Music Fest (MWMF) produces a two-day, multi-genre music fest in downtown La Crosse. In 2019, it will take place on May 17 and 18th and feature 200 musicians on seven stages to a crowd of 2,000 people. The MWMF mission is to promote music in the region, creating opportunities for artists, stimulating downtown economic development, and providing diverse economic resources for artists, community members, and children.

MWMF pays every artist who performs, but visiting artists’ feedback has requested a desire for more hospitality. We would like to offer a deeper, warmer welcome to La Crosse with at least one hot, home-cooked meal for each musician.

To follow their passion for music, musicians give up home-life as they travel constantly to unknown stages. MWMF will partner with an area chef who will donate his or her time to cook for the musicians, but the fest will need to purchase of all the fresh ingredients. We feel that this will be a unique form of visiting artist hospitality that will help to leave a memorable impression of the La Crosse event. Mid West Music Fest is where music and community meet. The combination of drawing artists together and providing a crowd to hear them perform creates a powerful arts experience. MWMF would love to enhance the artists’ visit with the deeper, more comfortable welcome of a home-cooked meal. Thank you for your consideration.

Submitted: 12/13/2018

La Crosse Montessori Preschool

Amount Requested: $900

La Crosse Montessori Preschool asks for your investment to train 3 staff in Positive Discipline techniques. Current research points to the preschool age as a critical time to guide children in social-emotional growth. Teaching positive conflict resolution skills at the preschool age not only establishes a lifelong pattern of emotional accountability and strong social skills but also reduces bullying and aggressive social behavior later.

This intensive 2-day training provides proven, practical techniques for classroom management as well as resources to support parents and families. This workshop focuses on using positive behavior management to guide children through conflict experiences and into growth. Rather than feeling shame, isolation, confusion or disenfranchisement from discipline, children will feel more empowered and connected. Attendees will become Certified Positive Discipline Educators, enabling us to bring this powerful and timely training back to other educators and parents in the La Crosse area via workshops and community partnerships.

The workshop is hosted by St. Catherine’s University Advanced Montessori Programs in St. Paul, MN in March 2019. It is based on the research of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs and books by Dr. Jane Nelson. Your support will provide registration costs ($1080), mileage ($190), and meals ($230). We have a supporter who will cover hotel costs ($720), and we have received approval for a discounted registration rate ($120 value).

Submitted: 12/6/18


The Hunger Task Force of La Crosse, Inc.

Amount Requested: $12,000 ($6,000 remaining)

The Hunger Task Force Food Recovery Program works with 102 distinct programs that provide meals, pantry packages, or youth programming to the communities we serve. (La Crosse, Vernon, Monroe, Trempeleau, Winona, and Houston Counties) Over 60,000 lives are touched every month by our food services to the pantry and meal site network. We work closely with all of those programs to share resources, provide education to our clients, and collaborate to provide the best service to our collective clients.

We are very proud that we accomplish much with very little. However, one of our largest expenses is to keep our industrial refrigerator and freezers running. Food safety and temperature control is of utmost importance when dealing with food donations. Our energy bill runs over $12,000 per year to keep our donations protected.

Submitted: 10/1/2018

Mississippi Valley Conservancy

Amount Requested: $550

Mississippi Valley Conservancy is requesting funding to attend a CNAP 2.0 course which they do not have the funds in their budget to attend. This course would further educate their nonprofit accounting by digging deeper into the accounting and compliance topics they are offering. The course is scheduled to start on Nov. 29, 2018.

Submitted 10/4/2018

Children’s Museum of La Crosse

Amount Requested: Any

Remember the excitement of a field trip: the thrilling change in the routine, the bus ride, the arrival at the destination? Schools exist not only to provide economically useful skills, but also to produce civilized young men and women who appreciate the arts and culture and know how to behave and get the most out of such institutions. Field trips educate, entertain and awaken kids to new interests and even new ideas for future careers. Field trips are also a great equalizer: while more-advantaged families may take their children to museums and other cultural institutions outside of school hours, less-advantaged students are less likely to have these opportunities if not provided by schools. Despite associated benefits, school field trips are on the decline. Financial pressures force schools to make difficult decisions about how to allocate scarce resources, and field trips can be seen as unnecessary. Greater focus on standardized tests in schools also leads to cuts in field trips. Schools in our region are also taking fewer field trips. When we asked, educators told us that cost, primarily bus/transportation expense, is the primary reason. Another reason that surprised and saddened us was that teachers are worried about how students will behave in a museum or similar public location. We are seeking ongoing financial support for Free First Field Trips: no-cost visits to the Children’s Museum of La Crosse for local kindergarten students, teachers and parents.

Submitted: 9/28/2018

La Crosse Public Education Foundation

Amount Requested: $12,000

New fitness equipment is needed at Logan High School of the School District of La Crosse, to replace old and worn out equipment and provide additional equipment so that more students can be active at the same time and make it a safer place to exercise. Physical Education classes use the weight room during the school day, and student athletes use it before and after school, for a total of about 600 students using it per year. They would like three new treadmills, three new elliptical machines, two new rowing machines and a stationary bike.

Submitted: 10/9/2018

Franciscan Spirituality Center

Amount Requested: $750

DEPRESSION ANONYMOUS: A 12-step group for those dealing with depression to generate positive energies, form friendships and find support. Weekly meetings. A gift of $750 would underwrite the program for 2019.

Submitted: 10/5/2018