Heart of BASE recipient

Badgerland After School Enrichment Program (BASE), formerly the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Atkinson, has announced the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation as its 2020 recipient of the Heart of BASE Award. Pictured above accepting the award is community foundation executive director Sue Hartwick.

Badgerland After School Enrichment Program (BASE), formerly the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Atkinson, has announced the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation as its 2020 recipient of the Heart of BASE Award.

The Heart of BASE Award was started in 2019 to recognize an outstanding individual, business or group for their achievement, leadership and vision in supporting BASE. The recipient is dedicated to BASE’s mission, has demonstrated extraordinary civic and charitable responsibility, and their generosity inspires others. This award honors their sense of heart and devotion to BASE and the many youth BASE serves.

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation was critical in the formation of the out-of-school-time program and has been a strong supporter of the organization throughout the past 15 years. In 2003, the late Ted Batterman challenged the board of directors of the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation to be more proactive, and he suggested they identify and meet a community need.

After several preliminary meetings with community leaders, they decided to rectify the community’s lack of an after-school program for young people. In 2005, the Boys & Girls Club of Fort Atkinson was chartered which now has evolved into an independent local organization.

BASE now is serving youth in all four public elementary schools, hosts a wrap-around summer program, and is offering in person learning support programs and virtual outreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the years, the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation has supported many initiatives of the organization including expansions to new elementary schools in 2008, 2010 and 2015. It has awarded grants to support technology upgrades, teen program expansion efforts and even helped purchase rubber ducks for the organization’s annual Duck Race.

Most recently, the foundation awarded $20,000 to the organization’s COVID-19 programming efforts which allowed BASE to continue operations throughout the summer and school year.

“BASE is honored to recognize the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation as our 2020 recipient for our Heart of BASE Award,” stated BASE Board Chair Hannah Bare. “For 15 years, they have supported our organization to help us expand and develop our programs to serve kids who need us most. Now, more than ever, we have benefited from their support as we navigate these unprecedented times and look towards our future.”

“The foundation is delighted to receive the Heart of BASE Award,” stated Community Foundation Chairman Scott Housley. “While we were indeed the organization behind the establishment of BASE, the current success of the program belongs entirely to BASE Executive Director Alicia Norris and a dedicated group of board members who know how essential this program has become to our community.

“Even during these challenging times, they have continued to offer their services, albeit in a new and unexpected fashion,” he added. “This resiliency and dedication to our students is wonderful to see. Our role at the community foundation is to foster success in our community. We are proud of the great success BASE has become.”

BASE provides quality out-of-school-time care that inspires local youth to be contributing, productive and responsible community members. For more information on BASE and how to get involved, visit www.basefortatkinson.org, Like the club on Facebook and follow it on Instagram.

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