“What in our lives has been around for 114 years? And yet here we are…”
Last month COA Youth & Family Centers held its 2019 Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation. COA board members, staff and volunteers gathered at the Wisconsin Club to celebrate COA’s incredible impact over the past year, and to honor the remarkable dedication of the entire COA community.
COA Executive Director Tom Schneider delivered an overview of COA’s activities and accomplishments over the years. From its humble beginnings in 1906 as a fresh air camp serving just a handful of children, COA has grown to become a well-established, high-quality organization providing a holistic array of family-centered programs to more than 10,000 Milwaukee children and families each year. Reflecting on COA’s profound legacy, Schneider remarked, “What in our lives has been around for 114 years? And yet here we are…”
“Charity Navigator recently recognized COA Youth & Family Centers as the highest-rated human services agency in Wisconsin.”
Thanks to the generous support of numerous partners and program participants, COA Youth & Family Centers experienced a year full of successes in 2019. COA’s food pantry, located in the heart of Milwaukee’s largest food desert, grew from serving just 50 people in its first month to now almost 800 people monthly. COA’s Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) program expanded to include two-year-olds for the first time ever. COA’s innovative model of place-based community change continues to transform the Amani neighborhood, where crime has decreased by 54% since COA opened its Goldin Center in the area fourteen years ago. Charity Navigator recently recognized COA Youth & Family Centers as the highest-rated human services agency in Wisconsin. With remarkable accomplishments like these, it’s no wonder COA is “heading into 2020 with immense pride in what we have done, pride in what we are doing, and a commitment to what we have yet to achieve.”
During the Awards Presentation, COA honored outstanding members of the COA family for their service in 2019. The law firm of Hupy & Abraham was awarded COA’s Outstanding Community Partner for their longstanding support. COA’s Outstanding Volunteer award was presented to Craig Miller, whose leadership and dedication has been vital in the development of a database for COA’s new Read Everywhere Program. Ahveon Smith, a talented and active member of COA’s Goldin teen program, was presented COA’s Outstanding Youth Leader award. And Ron Miller, COA’s longtime Treasurer, was honored as COA’s Distinguished Board Member for his fastidious commitment to COA’s financial security and sustainability.
COA wrapped up its Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation by welcoming a slate of new officers and members to its Board of Directors. The event was an inspiring reminder that while COA is 114 years old, its roots go even deeper, and at the same time – COA’s future is brighter than ever. We look forward to working together toward continued success in 2020.