UW-Fond du Lac Corks & Forks raises $34,000


Courtesy of the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation

The Three Handsomes perform traditional Polynesian music at the annual Corks & Forks fundraiser organized by the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation.

The UW-Fond du Lac Foundation raised approximately $48,000 on March 28 at its seventh Corks and Forks fundraising event, featuring creative cuisine to raise money for scholarships.

After expenses are paid, the net profit from the night is estimated at $34,000, according to Foundation director Barbara Senn.
Senn said the Foundation is a nonprofit organization, and the money will be used to fund scholarships and to cover the Foundation’s operational costs.

“As a small Foundation, we have to have a method of bringing in money to do what we do,” Senn said.

Senn said the Foundation provides money for scholarships, for professional development, for faculty and staff and for research projects on the Fond du Lac campus.

“The idea behind the Foundation is that we are here primarily for providing students with scholarship dollars,” Senn said.

Senn said the idea for Corks and Forks was developed eight years ago as a way for the Foundation to better cover its operational costs.

“Initially what they did was they decided that they would have a nice sit-down dinner with wine, so the ‘cork’ part of it, and each year it’s themed,” Senn said.

This year’s theme was tropical island, complete with luau music, Hawaiian shirts and traditional Polynesian cuisine.

Associate Dean of Finance and Administration for Access Campuses Bethany Rusch said the island theme was one of her favorite aspects of this year’s event.

“It created a more casual vibe than previous years, and it was fun to see attendees incorporate the island flair with their tropical, flowered attire,” Rusch said.

Rusch said she is one of the three co-founders of Corks and Forks along with Laurie Krasin and Kathy Strong-Langolf.

“It is wonderful to see where the UWFDL Foundation has taken this signature event since our first year in 2013,” Rusch said.

UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt speaks at the fundraiser dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and luau in order to fit the tropical island theme.
Courtesy of the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation
UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt speaks at the fundraiser dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and luau in order to fit the tropical island theme.

The event also featured a live auction where donors bid on items such as Paul McCartney concert tickets, a five-night fishing trip to Canada and a sports package, which includes tickets for two Brewer games and box seats at four Timber Rattlers games.

Foundation Administrative Assistant Barbara Cramer, who helped Senn plan the event, said all of the items up for auction were donated and that the auction was her favorite part of the event.

“The bidding was going kind of crazy,” Cramer said. “Everyone had paddles, and they were lifting them up and down.”

Rusch said the auction highlighted the generosity of the Fond du Lac community.

“The live auction bidding was exciting and very entertaining thanks to our terrific auctioneer Greg Bemis,” Rusch said.

Senn said a local band called The Three Handsomes played traditional Polynesian music at the event.

“Polynesian music is more of a bongo kind of drum and a ukulele, a little more like luau music,” Senn said.

Rusch said at its core the event was about supporting students with scholarship opportunities.

“It’s all about ensuring our students have access to exceptional education and the resources to reach their educational goals,” Rusch said. “I always leave this event feeling so encouraged by seeing a room full of community members supporting our students and our campus.”