414.906.4616 info@sd-foundation.org

Legacy Gala Overview

The Annual Legacy Gala began in 2018 as an elegant evening to honor individuals in the Milwaukee community who have made a significant impact for those who live in poverty. During the first inaugural event, we honored the late legend Don Sykes. Take a look back at our first event. Click here…

Don Sykes was the foundation in building Milwaukee County’s largest anti-poverty agency, the Social Development Commission, and led the agency for two decades (1968 – 1988). He worked tirelessly on behalf of low-income people and the community as a whole. He was resolute in his efforts not only at SDC, but also throughout both his professional career and public-spirited service. The magnitude of Don’s intellect, hard work, and many, many contributions was recognized at the national level when he served the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Relations for the Clinton Administration. He was truly a legend in our community.

In 2019, we honored the living legend Ben Johnson. Click here to read more about this honoree…

Now, we move forward with selecting individuals who are also building a legacy of making a difference. Every year a member of the Milwaukee community will be honored with the Don Sykes Legacy Award. Do you know someone you would like to nominate? Click the nomination criteria link below. 

Don Sykes Legacy Award Nomination Criteria

Selection Criteria:

The recipient of this award will be selected according to the procedures and criteria contained herein. Each nominee will be evaluated on the following:

  • Community leadership
  • Community impact
  • Alignment to Social Development Foundation’s mission
  • Personal attributes
  • Efforts to eliminate poverty in our community

Guidelines and Deadline

Nominations are closed for the 2020 Don Sykes Legacy Award.  The deadline for nominations was 5 p.m., Friday, February 7, 2020. Self-nominations or nominations from family members were not accepted. Current Officers of the Social Development Foundation Board of Directors shall be ineligible for consideration or receipt of the award during their respective terms.

Nomination requirements include:

  • Completion of the nomination application
  • Letter of nomination / recommendation (including examples of nominee’s demonstration of excellence in prescribed areas)
  • A one-page biographical sketch or resume of the nominee
  • Current headshot of the nominee

SAVE THE DATE

Date: October 18, 2020

Time: 5:00pm Cocktail Reception, 6:00pm Gala

Location: Saint Kate the Arts Hotel, 139 East Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

The Evening

The evening will begin with a reception beginning at 5:00pm that will include a muscial guest and passed hors de vours. The ballroom will open at approximately 5:45pm as guests find their tables. The Gala will begin at 6:00pm. Dinner service will begin at 6:25pm. We will continue the evening celebrating our honoree and give everyone an opportunity to support anti-poverty programing in Milwaukee.

2019 Legacy Honoree

This year we are proud to honor a living legend, Ben E. Johnson! Ben Johnson Photo

Ben E. Johnson was born January 31, 1937, the fifth child of Albert and Alma Johnson.  He attended Milwaukee Lincoln High School and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He is the proud father of three children: Jan, Paula and Jay.

Johnson had a diverse and esteemed career. He was a former district sales manager for the Milwaukee Journal Company where, in addition, he served as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.

Johnson was also a community organizer for the Walnut Way Improvement Council.  Johnson identified residents experiencing poverty and helped them access critical services including health care and education.

In 1971, Johnson was elected to replace Alderwoman Vel R. Phillips to represent the 6th Aldermanic District. In 1976, he became the first African American Milwaukee Common Council President serving until 1980.

One of Johnson’s biggest accomplishments was the creation of a program affectionately known as the “$1 House” program. This important initiative made home ownership attainable for many Milwaukee residents who purchased and repaired dilapidated homes in city neighborhoods.

After serving on the Milwaukee Common Council,  Johnson was appointed Milwaukee City Clerk. He served four years in the position.

Eventually, Johnson left government and worked as a management consultant. Later he accepted a position with Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) providing small business start-up assistance at the Milwaukee Enterprise Center. He has taught government and business classes for University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and MATC.

Volunteer and civic activities include chairing several boards and committees including: The Social Development Commission, the U.S. Panama Canal Treaty Advisory Commission and the White House Council on Economic Development.

He is presently on the boards of Urban Strategies Inc. and Northcott Neighborhood House. Ben Johnson is a life member of the NAACP.

Today Johnson is revered for his efforts to create vibrant, affordable subdivisions including Halyard Park, Richardson Subdivision and Lindsay Heights.

 

Presenting Sponsor

$25,000 | Exclusive Availability

  • Recognized as presenting sponsor on all printed materials and event website
  • Banner at entrance
  • Three (3)tables (10 per table) with optimum seating
  • Two(2) signature bottle of champagne on each table
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Company logo with hyperlink back to sponsor web site on the SD Foundation’s web site for one (1) year
  • Full page color ad space in program booklet (inside front cover)
  • Podium thanks & acknowledgement
  • Five (5) minute podium remarks to attendees
  • Logo on sponsor appreciation signage
  • Recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report

Legacy Trailblazer

$20,000 | Exclusive Availability

  • Recognized as a Legacy Trailblazer on all printed materials and event website
  • Two (2)Reserved Table (10 per table) with premium seating
  • One (1) signature bottle of champagne on each table
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Company logo with hyperlink back to sponsor web site on the SD Foundation’s web site for one (1) year
  • Full page color ad space in program booklet (inside back cover)
  • Podium thanks & acknowledgement
  • Name on sponsor appreciation signage
  • recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report

Legacy Leader

$15,000 | Exclusive Availability

  • Recognized as a Legacy Leader on all printed materials and event website
  • One (1) Reserved Table (10 per table) with enhanced seating
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Full page color ad space in program booklet
  • Podium thanks & acknowledgement
  • Name on sponsor appreciation signage
  • Recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report

Legacy Advocate

$10,000 | 3 Available

  • Recognized as a Legacy Advocate on all printed materials and event website
  • One (1) Reserved Table (10 per table)
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Half (1/2) page color ad space in program booklet
  • Podium thanks & acknowledgement
  • Name on sponsor appreciation signage
  • Recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report

Legacy Ambassador

$5,000 | 6 Available

  • Recognized as a Legacy Ambassador on all printed materials and event website
  • One (1) Reserved Table (10 per table)
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Name recognition in program booklet
  • Podium thanks & acknowledgement
  • Name on sponsor appreciation signage
  • Recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report

Legacy Tribute

$2,500 | 12 Available

  • Recognized as a Legacy Tribute contributor on all printed materials and event website
  • One (1) Reserved Table (10 per table)
  • Sponsor reserved signage
  • Recognition in SD Foundation’s Annual Report