Next Door’s 50th Anniversary Celebration!

More than 400 people came out in a sea of support for Next Door to commemorate a major milestone for the organization.

Next Door’s 50th Anniversary Celebration took place October 3, 2019 at the Northwestern Mutual tower in downtown Milwaukee.

Through the generosity of guests and event sponsors, Next Door raised more than $250,000 to support the agency’s critical early childhood education programs for central city families.

“This was an incredibly special night for Next Door,” said Brenda Levatich, who co-chaired the 50th Anniversary Celebration with her husband, Matt Levatich.

“Matt and I were so delighted to see so many friends of Next Door from the past and present join us for the celebration. The outpouring of love and support will allow Next Door to continue delivering high quality early childhood education for more than 1,400 Milwaukee children.”

The anniversary event celebrated 50 years of memories going back to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church where Next Door was founded in 1969. We were thrilled to welcome parishioners and former Next Door staff who were around during the organization’s early years and offered special recognition to them during the program.

We also saluted companies, foundations and family donors that have gone above and beyond to ensure Next Door’s success and impact. They include: Buffett Early Childhood Fund, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Helwig Carbon Products, Northwestern Mutual, The Bechthold Family, Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation, The Brengel Family, Herzfeld Foundation, The Kellner Family, Siebert Lutheran Foundation and The Teerlink Family.

More tributes went out to recognize the dedication of Next Door Board Directors, volunteers and staff over the past 50 years.

The evening’s program featured two guest speakers: JohnQuell Tucker, a Next Door alumni from the 1990’s, and Milwaukee Writer and Artist Dasha Kelly Hamilton. You can read more about them in the attached links.

Throughout the celebration, guests had a chance to place bids in an online auction to support Next Door. Many of them also visited our Books for Kids Book Store to purchase books for Next Door children to help them build home libraries.

Next Door’s President Dr. Tracey Sparrow said the celebration left a big impression on the guests.     

“Our guests not only had a fabulous time, but went away with a great feeling about Next Door! We are grateful to everyone who attended because you are all helping us do the most important work in Milwaukee,” Dr. Sparrow said.  

To view photos from the event, check HERE to view our Facebook Album #1.

Click HERE to see more photos in our Facebook Album #2.

Click HERE to see coverage of the celebration in the Around Section of the BizTimes.