MADISON, WI — The Wisconsin Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs bestowed Senator Herb Kohl with their “State Champion for Children” award this week, the highest honor given by the organization to an elected official. The vote was unanimous, with twenty-eight club CEO’s agreeing Senator Kohl should be among the first added to the Club’s Hall of Fame. 


“Senator Kohl has always been a champion for young people. For twenty-four years, he gave voice and priority to the needs and interests of young people while in the Senate,” said JoAnne Anton, Director of Giving at Herb Kohl Philanthropies.  “Today, he applies that same focus through his philanthropic work. Throughout his entire career, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wisconsin have consistently been true partners in helping unlock opportunity for and potential in our young people.” 


Since 2015, Herb Kohl Philanthropies (HKP) has contributed over $3.6 million to Boys and Girls Clubs across Wisconsin, including funding week-long field trips to Washington D.C.  All costs related to travel, lodging, materials, meals, and exhibits are covered to give select club youth a front row seat on how government operates. As of July 2022, Herb Kohl Philanthropies has helped over 1450 club kids experience civics and democracy through these learning journeys into our nation’s capital.  


“For over three decades, Senator Kohl has changed the lives of youth by pushing for good policies and by personally investing in their education,” said Andy Gussert, Director of the Wisconsin Boys & Girls Clubs. “His impact is tremendous, and our kids are lucky to have him as a champion by their side.” 


When Herb Kohl served as Senator from 1989 to 2013, he supported many key club initiatives, including: 

  • Voting YES to Fund 2,500 Boys and Girls Clubs in underserved areas. (Dec 1997) 
  • Voting YES on $52M for “21st century community learning centers”. (Oct 2005) 
  • Voting YES on $5B for grants to local educational agencies. (Oct 2005) 
  • Voting YES on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005) 
  • Voting YES on Educational Savings Accounts. (Mar 2000) 
  • Voting YES on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects. (Oct 2007) 

 Herb Kohl started his Foundation in 1990 to recognize students, teachers and schools with grants to support educational achievement. Since inception, the Educational Foundation has awarded nearly $34 million in grants and scholarships to Wisconsin teachers, students clubs and schools. 

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