MKE 2024 Host Committee Deposits $100,000 in Columbia Savings & Loan – Milwaukee Courier Weekly Newspaper

From left to right: Columbia Board Director Wes McKenzie, MKE 2024 Executive Assistant Dana Steiner, MKE 2024 Operations Manager Alyssa Birkeland, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson, MKE 2024 Staffer Hannah Siebert, Columbia Board Secretary Lafayette McKinney, MKE 2024 Chief Operating Officer Alison Prange, Columbia Board Director Eddie Murphy, MKE 2024 Chief Financial Officer Anne Slattery, Columbia Board Director Rev. Dr. Mose Fuller, Columbia Senior Loan Officer Linda Kern, Columbia Board Chair/President & CEO Ernest Jones, Columbia Teller Monica Waddy, and Columbia Teller Rachel Barney.

By Karen Stokes

On Tuesday, the MKE 2024 Host Committee delivered a $100,000 check to Columbia Savings & Loan, contributing to its ‘100 by the 100th’ campaign to increase homeownership, particularly among African American families.

Columbia Savings & Loan will celebrate its 100th anniversary on September 24, 2024. Its goal is to raise $10 million to help 100 families become new homeowners by their 100th anniversary.

“Rather than just simply celebrating our centennial next year, this is really about living out our mission to ensure that we help 100 families by the end of our 100th anniversary year become new homeowners,” said Executive Vice President Will Martin.

Ted Kellner, CEO of MKE 2024 Host Committee said, “When we started this venture a little over a year ago, one of the things we said we wanted to do is ensure economic impact for Milwaukee. What we’re here to do today is make a $100,000 deposit to Columbia Savings & Loan to support local businesses and homeowners in its ‘100 by the 100th’ campaign. The hope is that Columbia will support and build over 100 homes in the inner city of Milwaukee and that is probably the most exciting thing that we’re doing at the RNC Host Committee.”

Alison Prange, Chief Operating Officer of the MKE 2024 Host Committee, expressed gratitude to Martin and Ernest Jones, Chairman, President, and CEO of Columbia Savings & Loan Association, for the opportunity to deposit funds to the bank and participate in the ‘100 by the 100th’ campaign.

Will Martin, Executive Vice President, Columbia Savings & Loan and Mayor Cavalier Johnson
(Photo/Karen Stokes)

Martin, during the press conference, stood in front of a portrait of Wilbur Halyard. Halyard and his wife, Ardie, founded the bank 99 years ago.

“The Halyards founded this bank because African Americans could not get access to capital. In the 1920s in Milwaukee, oftentimes African Americans would live 3-4 families in a single family dilapidated rental because they had no access to capital to buy a home,” Martin said. “The Halyards knew that homeownership isn’t just about a place to lay your head, it’s about a sense of belonging, owning a piece of the American Dream, it’s about generational wealth. We are still living out that mission the Halyards started to increase homeownership.”

Milwaukee has one of the lowest homeownership rates for African Americans of any major metro in the country.

Columbia Savings & Loan at 2020 West Fond du Lac Avenue is Wisconsin’s only Black-owned bank and the nation’s sixth oldest. It is the only bank headquartered in the state’s poorest zip code.

Ernest Jones, Chairman, President and CEO, Columbia Savings & Loan, Ted Kellner, CEO MKE 2024 Host Committee, Mayor Cavalier Johnson, Alison Prange, COO, MKE 2024 Host Committee and Will Martin, Executive Vice President
(Photo/Karen Stokes)

“We hope that other corporate partners and governmental leaders will be inspired by what the Milwaukee 2024 Host Committee is doing today,” Martin said.

So far, over $6 million has been raised towards the $10 million goal.

“When you think of $100,000, we’re actually talking about several families being able to become homeowners because of this one investment,” Martin said. “In the suburbs, if you raise $1,000,000 for mortgages, you might be able to do two mortgages, in the heart of Milwaukee’s north and south sides, we can actually fund 10 loans or more.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson also present at the press conference said, “Home ownership can provide stability and safety to neighborhoods in Milwaukee. My goal has been to have a Republican Convention that will bring a positive impact to the city of Milwaukee and this goal was also shared by the non-partisan host committee.”

The RNC convention will be held July 15-18 and is expected to bring 50,000 visitors to the city.

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