Donald Driver Announces 2014 Driven to Achieve Award Recipients

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The first-ever class of Driven to Achieve Award winners were announced today by Green Bay Packers All-Time Leading Receiver, “Dancing with the Stars” Champion, New York Times Bestselling Author and 2013 AMVETS Humanitarian of the Year Donald Driver.

Created by Driver to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of multiple charities, companies, community leaders and celebrities on a national and local level, Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards presented by BMO Harris Bank will honor the winners at a formal event hosted by “Good Morning America’s” Josh Elliott March 29th at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, WI.

At the event, the winners will be presented with a Driven to Achieve Award along with a significant monetary contribution to help support their cause.

“What these people have done to give back to their communities is truly something special,” Driver said. “It is my honor to recognize them for their efforts and I hope that by sharing these stories we are able to inspire a whole new generation of givers.”

In addition to BMO Harris Bank, other community leaders supporting the program include MillerCoors and Jockey.
Last month, Driver announced seven time Grammy Award winning recording artist Gladys Knight will perform a private concert for guests at the event. Knight will also be recognized with a “Lifetime of Giving” award at the event for her decades of charitable work.

The winners and their charity of choice, along with a summary of their efforts, follow:

Gladys Knight, Multiple Charities
For as much as Gladys Knight has contributed to the world of music, she has given even more to those in need.  In addition to being a national spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association, Knight has also dedicated her time to helping the American Cancer Society, the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Minority AIDS Project amfAR and many other organizations throughout her career.

Anthony Robles, Make a Hero
Born with one leg, many people never believed Anthony Robles would be able to participate in as demanding a sport as wrestling. Determined to compete, Robles would not only participate, he would dominate. But despite a decorated high school career, Robles was spurned by many universities who thought having one leg would preclude him from having success at the collegiate level. After walking-on to the team at Arizona State, Robles would prove all of his doubters wrong and become an inspiration to millions by winning the NCAA Championship in 2011. Today, Robles is using his journey to inspire others;  partnering with Make A Hero to help motivate individuals with disabilities to overcome limitations and follow their sports dreams.

John Bergstrom, Fox Cities Boys & Girls Clubs
Under John Bergstrom’s leadership, the Bergstrom Corporation has become deeply engrained in Wisconsin’s charitable landscape. Personally participating in various leadership and fundraising roles, Mr. Bergstrom has been instrumental in leading initiatives to build the Marquette Dental School, the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, a revitalized downtown business district in Neenah and much more. Mr. Bergstrom was also the Chairman of the committee that built the Fox Cities Boys & Girls Club and is currently working to build an additional Boys & Girls club facility in the area to help serve increasing need in the Fox Cities.

Kaleem Caire, Urban League of Greater Madison
As President & CEO of Urban League of Greater Madison, Kaleem has dedicated himself to ensuring that African Americans and other community members are empowered to live well, advance professionally and contribute to the common good in the 21st Century. His organization’s work touches thousands of lives each year as they strive to make Madison the “best place in the Midwest for everyone to live, learn, and work by 2020.”

Lynda Kohler, SHARP Literacy
Under Lynda’s guidance, SHARP Literacy has helped tens of thousands of urban school children in the Milwaukee area to become confident, capable readers, writers and researchers by utilizing the visual arts to engage young minds and reinforce learning. On average, students who participate in the SHARP Literacy program improve their literacy skills by 40-70 percent.

Douglas Meijer, Blessings in a Backpack
Douglas Meijer is a devoted volunteer and charter member of the board of directors for Blessings in a Backpack, an organization dedicated to providing elementary schoolchildren who are on the federal Free and Reduced Price Meal Program with a backpack of food to take home for weekends during the school year. During his tenure, the organization has grown from two program sites in Louisville to serving more than 63,000 school children at 560 schools in 44 states and Washington DC.  In Wisconsin, Blessings in a Backpack currently serves 19 schools with a total of 1,964 children being fed every weekend of the school year.

Patti Gorsky, Make-A-Wish
For 30 years, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin has been helping families across the state experience the transformative power of a wish. As the President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, Patti has overseen thousands of wishes granted to Wisconsin children. Last year alone, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin granted a record-breaking 340 wishes.

Laura Ziemer, Miracle League of the Lakeshore
Laura’s passion for helping children with special needs led her to create the Miracle League of the Lakeshore, an organization dedicated to building a handicap accessible baseball diamond so that special needs children of all ages and abilities can experience the joys of playing baseball.

Sponsor tables for the black-tie event are currently available, though space is limited. Interested organizations can contact Lammi Sports Management at 414.727.3600 or Pat Mueller of P.M. Mueller & Associates, Inc. at 262.796.1005 or at patmueller@att.net

For more information on Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards, please click here.