Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Three Award Winning Projects

Lindsay Heights is a big winner at MANDI awards.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Apr 10th, 2017 10:27 am
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LaVonda Graham, board president of Walnut Way Conservation Corp., accepts the award for the Innovations & Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights. Photo by Emmy A. Yates.

LaVonda Graham, board president of Walnut Way Conservation Corp., accepts the award for the Innovations & Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights. Photo by Emmy A. Yates.

Three projects in the North Side Lindsay Heights neighborhood won Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDIs) Thursday evening at a dinner attended by about 800 guests.

The event, held at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, was presented by LISC Milwaukee and U.S. Bank. All winners received a trophy and a $1,000 contribution. The 15 finalists, in five categories, were chosen by a selection committee of 40 volunteers from the private, public and government sectors. Winners of the Wells Fargo People’s Choice awards were determined by a public vote, hosted on the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service website.

The Innovations and Wellness Commons, located at 1615 W. North Ave., opened in October 2015. Photo by Edgar Mendez.

The Innovations and Wellness Commons, located at 1615 W. North Ave., opened in October 2015. Photo by Edgar Mendez.

The Innovations and Wellness Commons, 1617 W. North Ave., won the award for a real estate project that improves the community. The other two Lindsay Heights awards went to the Johnsons Park Revitalization project and the Historic Wally Schmidt Tavern Redevelopment, 1848 W. Fond du Lac.

Fran Dawson, acting executive director of Walnut Way Conservation Corp., which was a partner in all three Lindsay Heights projects, said that community residents deserve the credit for their success. “We live together, work together and play together. We support each other,” she said.

Tony Gibson, chairman of the Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association, said that the park’s revitalization has taken nearly a decade. He credited the Center for Resilient Cities, the Rotary Club and other partners for recognizing the potential in Johnsons Park, adding that the work isn’t done. “There’s so much looming on the horizon,” he said.

Silver Spring Neighborhood Center won the BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award, which recognizes an organization for its commitment and effectiveness over time. The center was also the recipient of a People’s Choice Award.

Kaylin Jones, who accepted the award for SSNC, credited the organization’s success to its ability to work with whole families. Jones, who said she “grew up in the center,” explained, “We start with prenatal, all the way through adults. When you work with a kid for years, you can and must have an impact.”

The Milwaukee Christian Center and the Journey House Community Garden also won People’s Choice awards. More than 1,800 people voted for the winners.

“The MANDIs are a celebration of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, and the passionate, committed people who work tirelessly to improve their communities,” said Dawn Hutchison-Weiss, communications director at LISC Milwaukee.

Winners and finalists are listed below:

The Innovations and Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights won the State Farm Building Blocks Award for a real estate project that improves the community. Other finalists were the Asian Public Market Phongsavan and TechForce Training Center.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

One thought on “Three Award Winning Projects”

  1. Virginia says:

    Congrats to everyone involved in all these terrific projects!

    I recall reading somewhere that it was Preserve Our Parks’ board member (and philanthropist) Diane Buck who got the ball rolling for the Johnsons Park project. And lots of other donors stepped up, according to this article: http://urbanmilwaukee.com/2015/06/30/the-transformation-of-johnsons-park/

    “The biggest funders to the project were the Zilber Family Foundation ($250,000) and the David and Diane Buck Foundation ($330,000) and the Rotary Club of Milwaukee ($100,000). Other donors included the Anon Charitable Trust, Brewers Community Foundation and Rickie Weeks, Brico Fund, Arthur J. Donald Family Foundation, Ralph Evinrude Foundation, the Fund for Lake Michigan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Gerda A. Debelak Fund, Herzfeld Foundation, Lowe’s Charitable & Educational Foundation, A.O. Smith Foundation, Daniel M. Soref Charitable Trust, Weiss Family Foundation and Friends of John C. Walker. Other partners in the project included LISC-Milwaukee, Johnsons Park Neighborhood Association, Walnut Way Conservation Corp., Alice’s Garden, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Preserve Our Parks.”

    Another winner, The Wally Schmidt Tavern Project is also a great project, which is now home to the terrific “Tandem” restaurant and bar.

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