Tailgating for a cause: Local company hosts fundraiser on game days

Published : Sunday, 11 Dec 2011, 6:01 PM CST  —–  Beth Jones, FOX 11 News

Click on photo for video of story.

ASHWAUBENON – Brats and chili were doing more than just filling the bellies of hungry tailgaters across the street from Lambeau Field Sunday.

“All the proceeds here go to the local Red Cross for local disaster relief, which we feel is a very good cause,” said Andy Kaye with Recoveron Restoration Services.

Since the season started the company has hosted this fund raising tailgate. The company has been at it for two seasons, raising more than $2,000 last year and looking at more than $3,500 this year.

And the money couldn’t be coming at a better time. Since July, the local Red Cross has provided assistance at 200 fires in Northeast Wisconsin; their “yearly” average is around 250.

One of the most recent, was the Pulaski fire, which destroyed three buildings and damaged two others in the village’s downtown. The Red Cross assisted eleven people displaced in that fire. “It does cost money to help people in our community,” explained Steve Hansen, Red Cross Regional Chapter Executive.  “The American Red Cross is there with food, clothing a roof over someone’s head.”

How much money exactly? Red Cross officials estimate they spend more than $500,000 in disaster relief efforts, with the majority of those funds coming from donations, like the tailgate.

And with the year as busy as it’s been and right in the midst of their peak months, Red Cross officials expect to exceed that budgeted amount this year. “The winter months tend to be our busiest time, two-thirds of our fires we respond to happen between November and February,” Hansen said.

And because of that, officials say making donations and public awareness of the need are particularly important this time of year. Sunday’s tailgate was the final one of the season, but coordinators say you can expect to see them again come pre-season.

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