In August of 2020 Inspiring Community, as planned, handed over the Broske Center to the City of Platteville
This postcard from the early 1900s shows the first Art Hall, the building with the cupola.
About Inspiring Community, Inc.
While Inspiring Community, Inc. does provide some direct funding to projects, our larger role is in mentoring and fostering community collaboration, providing grant writing and administrative support for community projects, and nurturing a culture of philanthropy and volunteerism. In our current project, the Platteville Inclusive Playground, Inspiring Community is serving as the fiscal sponsor and providing administrative support and grant writing assistance. Inspiring Community does not charge a fee for these services nor does the organization charge indirect costs to the project. All funds received from grants and donations will go directly towards funding the project, in this case, the new inclusive playground.
The purpose of Inspiring Community, Inc. is to build community and promote civic engagement through collaboration, leveraging investments, and fostering leadership and volunteerism. Inspiring Community works to further its mission by supporting projects and organizations that work to improve community livability, have strong community support, and promote volunteerism and collaboration. The organization also works to educate community members about philanthropy and to encourage and develop philanthropy, leadership, and volunteerism. Inspiring Community works with community members and organizations to help them leave an impact on their communities. Inspiring Community focuses its efforts on the areas in and around Platteville and Kewaunee, Wisconsin.
Inspiring Community Inc. works to build community and promote civic engagement through collaboration, leveraging investments, and fostering leadership and volunteerism. We believe that by working together, we can create a greater effect than the sum of our separate efforts.
Board of Directors
Back (L-R): Don Francis, Ruth Hinzmann, Sheri Engelke, Gene Weber,
Deanna Grywalsky, Mary Huck
Front (L-R): Eileen Nickels, Barb Daus, Cindy Tang, Angie Wright
Barb noted, "I have a strong belief in education and community. We cannot expect others to 'do for us.' Rather, we must take responsibility and action for developing and improving our lives and our communities. I have overwhelming pride in Platteville as a great place to live, work, play, and study - all BECAUSE of our active, engaged and giving residents. It's truly an honor to serve."
Barb Daus received the Arthur Virtue Community Service Award
from Chamber, 2022
Barb grew up on a farm in the Lake Mills area and chose to attend UW-Platteville where she earned a bachelor's and master's degree. While the majority of her career was in administration at UW-Platteville, Barb has experience as a high school science teacher, village administrator, human resource professional and development professional.
Barb has been active in Platteville since she and her husband, Hap, relocated here in 1987. She has served on the Chamber Board of Directors and coordinated the campaign to purchase the current Chamber building. She has also been active the the Platteville Main Street Program. Additionally, Barb served for 18 years on the Platteville Board of Education, was elected to the Platteville Common Council in 2006 and has been involved in regional economic development organizations and initiatives. She is the president of Platteville City Council, treasurer of the Platteville Quota Club, president of PEO-Chapter AC, a member of the Fort Crawford Chapter of the DAR, and a founding board member of both Inspiring Community Inc. and 100+Women Who Care - Southwest Wisconsin.
Barb and Hap have on son, Jeremy, who lives with his wife, Andrea, and their grandson, Finlay, in Dayton, Minnesota.
Jordan Holthaus of State Farm Insurance presented Inspiring Community Inc. with the "Good Neighbor" award November 8, 2021 for outstanding service to the surrounding community and fellow neighbors.
The individual who nominated ICI said this: "Inspiring Community has supported and helped so many things in the surrounding area. They have helped businesses navigate grants and PPP loans during the pandemic, as well as help projects in their community become a reality. They are amazing and I am excited to see what they accomplish in the future.""
Inspiring Community Inc. awarded the Community Spirit Award by Platteville Regional Chamber, 2021
At the Chamber's 2021 Annual Celebration and Arthur Virtue Awards, ICI was recognized for its community service. The origins of ICI began in the early 2010s and work with the Platteville Community Arboretum and
the Moundview Trail. From that experience, discussions and meetings, ICI formally established itself. Its largest project in Platteville was undoubtedly fundraising and constructing the Broske Event Center, a $1.3 million project.
Other Platteville projects included supporting the Platteville Public Library Foundation in its campaign for furniture, textures and equipment in the new library, The Platteville Arts, Trails and History and Chalkfest, Rountree Gallery and the new mural, the newly installed scholarship endowment recognition art at Platteville High School, and the Platteville Area Pickleball Association court building project.
ICI board member Sheri Engelke awarded Community Service Award by Platteville Regional Chamber, 2021
If you’ve heard people say “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person,” you might quickly call and involve Sheri Engelke.
Sheri is a Southwest Wisconsin native and a Platteville High School and UW-Platteville graduate. At any early age, Sheri learned about giving back to make her community stronger from her parents, Walter and Dorothy Edge. There’s little doubt that Sheri was “called into action,” working alongside her parents and siblings at 4-H, church and community events. Sheri has been a mainstay with the Friends of Belmont FFA for more than 20 years. She serves as the organization’s treasurer and helps organize an annual auction that supports the students in Belmont’s FFA program. She is also known locally for her nearly decade of service to the United Way of Platteville, where she is the president. Sheri has volunteered with Peace Lutheran Church (Belmont).
Of particular note is the volunteer role Sheri took on in the replacement of the deteriorating Art Hall at Legion Park. As chair of the group (Josh Butson, Nathan Curry, Bob Digman, Vince Graney, Bob Hundhausen, Karen Kurt, Mike LeGrand, Luke Peters, Jo Roling, Gene Weber, and Ron Weier) which became known as the LPEC committee, Sheri facilitated the discussions and planning that led to the group’s agreement to seek private funding for an insulated and climate-controlled 6,000 sq. ft. open span building, with the main space dividable, to include a food prep area, storage and restrooms as well as an outdoor covered patio area. Fund raising for the William P. and Mary Lou Broske Event Center, as it is now known, began in the fall of 2018. The original projected barebones base cost was $680,000. By June of 2019, funding for the original project had been committed, and a decision was made to move forward with demolition of Art Hall after the 2019 Dairy Days activities.
Sheri Engelke and her committee continued their fund raising initiatives, and over 400 community members expressed their enthusiasm for the project resulting in funds for many amenities not originally included in the building including a kitchen with a grill, heated floors, a full sound/video system, a folding wall, WIFI, a hearing loop, banquet-style tables and chairs, picnic tables and air conditioning, to cite a few additions.
Sheri Engelke also acted as manager of the nearly $1.3 million dollar project during the construction of the facility. Sheri provided exemplary leadership to the LPEC/Broske Center Committee. And, in Sheri’s own words, “It’s important to donate money to things, but a lot of times our time and our talent become more important. It’s the goodness I feel in my heart. When I get done with something it’s like, ‘Wow, I really did that,’ and I’m glad I did.”
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give