MAW 1 Over 1,000 Associated Bank colleagues from the Green Bay, Stevens Point and La Crosse Service Centers raised $8,650, since July, for the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Wisconsin. The check was recently presented at a ceremony held in Green Bay.

This is the fourth year Associated colleagues have teamed together to raise money for Make-A-Wish, and variety of other community organizations, cumulatively donating over $19,000. Money was raised through colleague donations and support of a variety of events, such as casual days, drawings, picnics, and a staff-celebrity dunk tank.

Responsible for making this donation happen is the Associated Advisory Committee (AAC), made up of various Associated staff members who are responsible for integrating the bank's vision and values in everything colleagues do.

"We want to instill in all Associated Bank colleagues the 'Associated Way' and show that we all can make a difference," said Maria Brandenburg, President, Associated Advisory Committee. "We want to give back to the communities in which we serve, have a positive impact on colleague morale, and have fun. This donation to Make-A-Wish is proof that we have accomplished just that."

An Associated colleague, Kelsey Anderson, knows first-hand about the Make-A-Wish program. Anderson's son, Joe, now age four, diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of Leukemia, was one of the 2011 wish recipients that benefited from the funds raised by Associated colleagues. Associated was granted sole sponsorship of Joe's wish that granted him a trip to Disney World.

"Joe was in the hospital for seven months and going through painful chemo," said Kelsey Anderson. "In November, after much praying, the doctor told us that Joe's cancer was gone. This past April, Joe was able to visit Disney World, through Make-A-Wish, and his past pain and heartache seemed to momentarily disappear. He was able to be a little boy again."

Joe enjoys spending time with his two sisters, Krista and Kayla.

Anderson is a Business Systems Analyst at the Green Bay Service Center.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since 1984, the Foundation has granted wishes for more than 4,000 children. Last year alone the Foundation granted a record-breaking 318 wishes and currently there are more than 250 wishes in progress. A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many of them it marks a turning point in their fight against their illness.

"It's through Associated's dedicated employees that Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin is able to make children's dreams come true," said Kris Teofilo, Regional Director, Make-A-Wish. "We are thankful for Associated's continued support over the past four years, and thanks them for being such strong supporters in helping to make wishes come true."

Pictured from left: Kelsey and Jennie Anderson; Kris Teofilo, Make-A-Wish; Sheila VanderLoop, Associated Advisory Committee, with Krista and Joe.