Inspired with an obligation to give back

Milwaukee native making difference in arts, education

The view from Judy Keyes’ condo is as wide and clear as her own vision for her family and our community. However, Keyes is not often at home to enjoy the panorama. More frequently, she is involved with volunteer outreach, family activities or overseas travel.

“What I love most about the Foundation is that they make me aware of important opportunities in our community,” says Keyes. “The Foundation helps keep me organized – it’s like having my own private secretary.”

“What I love most about the Foundation is that they make me aware of important opportunities in our community.” 

She values the monthly reports, that the recommendations she receives have been thoroughly vetted, and that she receives both online and print statements as requested.

Her hands-on community involvement includes service as a board member with Marquette University’s Restorative Justice Program, Marquette’s Women’s Council Advisory Board, Notre Dame Middle School, the Catholic Community Foundation, and Frankly Music. She is a parish council member with Gesu Church. She also supports the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Art Museum and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Keyes clearly brings her personal philanthropic mission to life in our community every day, using the Foundation as an important resource for her engagement.

Keyes’ grandchildren also are learning the importance of philanthropy through personalized support from the Foundation’s Philanthropic Services staff. The Friday after Thanksgiving in 2011, the family met to review a slate of recommendations the department had researched and broughtto the meeting. After due consideration, 6-year-old Timmy chose Wildlife in Need in Oconomowoc “because I don’t like to see animals that are hurt.” Ten-year old Patrick, who lives with his parents in Atlanta, selected the Cathedral Center in downtown Milwaukee “because it’s too cold to sleep outside.” Thirteen-year-old CJ decided to support Milwaukee’s Fondy Food Center because “I can’t imagine people not having enough to eat.” Maddie, 15, loves to read and went with SHARP Literacy, while Ruthie, 8, supported Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap. This morning-long meeting will be repeated annually.

Keyes has many other reasons for choosing the Foundation. “It’s great to have all my paperwork in one place, and to know that when I’m gone, my family won’t have to go back to an attorney to fulfill my wishes.”

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