UWM’s Life Impact program to benefit from Brewers fundraiser

UWM’s Life Impact program will be a beneficiary of the Milwaukee Brewers’ annual Hitting 4 the Cycle fundraiser on Aug. 25.

The fundraiser is a 25-mile bike ride that raises money for local organizations that benefit the Milwaukee community. The ride will start at Miller Park and will follow a path along Lake Michigan before finishing back at the Brewers’ stadium.

“It’s an honor,” said Natalie Reinbold, life coach and program director of Life Impact.

Life Impact assists disadvantaged parents pursuing their college goals with scholarships each year. The program also offers a life coach to their students to help mentor them along their path to graduation.

A recent outing to a Milwaukee Brewers game included two Life Impact scholars, Dennis Ray (center), with family Bryson and Keshia, and Hailey Bell (right), with family Christiana and Christopher. With them are Joan Prince, vice chancellor of global inclusion and engagement, and Life Impact administrators Natalie Reinbold and Rachel VanderWegen.

Formed in 2005 with donations from the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guarantee Corporation, the Life Impact program serves low-income students and assists them in graduating from UWM.

A majority of the students in the program are nontraditional students over the age of 25, and 50 percent identify as a minority. These students are also typically graduates of Milwaukee Public Schools and grew up in an urban community.

Life Impact assist students with children through a number of benefits and services including professional development and leadership opportunities, access to office supplies and equipment as well as workshops that focus on student-parent needs.

Reinbold is excited for the opportunity that the Milwaukee Brewers has offered through this fundraiser, but also the opportunity to bring attention to Life Impact’s program.

Without the substantial contributions that organizations like the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation have donated in the past, the Life Impact program would not exist. Now the program faces new hardships and need help from other outside sources.

“We’re looking for new partners to support us,” said Reinbold. “We’re hoping to attract new donors.

“Life Impact is an essential program not only to UWM, but to the community. It’s important that UWM and the Brewers have recognized that.”

Besides Life Impact, other beneficiaries of the fundraiser are the Urban Ecology Center and DreamBikes, a nonprofit organization that refurbishes bicycles and employs teens in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

While some potential participants may be intimidated by the length of the bike ride, they need not be, Reinbold said. The 25-mile trek follows a path over flat, concrete surfaces and includes three rest stops along the way. There will also be several safety guards that will be assist anyone in need.

Participants who register prior to the event will receive a ticket to that evening’s ballgame, along with tailgating opportunities and an event t-shirt. Teams with the most registrants will also receive tickets to the personal suite of Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun on the club level at Miller Park.

If someone is still daunted by this bike ride, Reinbold hopes that people will spread the word of the fundraiser and donate at the bike ride website.

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