ABOUT

The Watertown Area Community Foundation is the tax-deductible vehicle through which individuals, families, organizations and corporations can provide leadership for projects that will improve the quality of life for all area citizens. 

Founded, nurtured as a partnership, the Watertown Area Community Foundation grew out of citizens’ commitment to seek a partnership with the City of Watertown to replace the community’s outdoor swimming pool with a family aquatic center. 

 

Formed in 1991 by a group of community-minded citizens, the Foundation’s first successful project was to raise $600,000 privately to complement the Watertown Common Council’s commitment of $1.2 million.  The Watertown Aquatic Center Stands today as a testimony to the spirit of the good citizens of the Watertown area. 

OUR
MISSION
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The Watertown Area Community Foundation will serve as the steward for those who entrust their assets to the care of its leadership by: 

  • Using the resources wisely;

  • Serving as a catalyst for identifying needs and opportunities within the community; 

  • Developing responsible and effective responses to the emerging and changing needs of the community. 

BOARD MEMBERS
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Tom Schultz

President

Tom Schultz, a lifelong resident of Watertown, is retired managing editor and 53 year veteran of the Watertown Daily Times and is chairman and a founding member of the Watertown Area Community Foundation. He is also chairman and a founder of the Watertown Riverfest celebration. He has served as a board member and chairman of the board of Northwestern Publishing House, the publishing division of WELS national church body, and has held positions at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Watertown where he is currently financial secretary of the congregation. He is also a longtime board member and past president of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association. His wife, Mary, is a retired first grade teacher at Douglas School, and they had two adult children.

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Sue Rhodes

Secretary

Sue is a lifelong member of the Watertown Community and has served as a member of the Community Foundation Board since 2001.  Sue is retired from Watertown Regional Medical Center where she was employed for 29 years as the Manager of Medical Staff Services.  Sue was a founding member of the Dodge-Jefferson Healthier Communities Partnership.   She also served on the Watertown Riverfest Committee for 23 years.   Sue has served as President, and is currently Financial Secretary of her church, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Lebanon.  She also currently serves on the Watertown Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.   Sue and her husband, Joe, were former owners of Innerpak of Wisconsin, LLC.of Watertown.

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Mike Hoppenrath

Treasurer

Mike has been a member of the Watertown Area Community Foundation since June 2015 and served as the Treasurer since June 2018. Prior to serving in this capacity, Mike was the City Clerk/Treasurer for the City of Watertown, a city of about 24,000 residents, for almost 30 years. His responsibilities included all the financial records for all the departments, issuance of many of the licenses, management of all elections, and maintenance of all minutes and records for the various boards and commissions as well as other duties as assigned. He and his wife Carol have lived in Watertown since 1983 and had 3 children attend St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Ixonia and the Watertown High School. Mike has served on many of the boards for St Paul’s and currently serves as its Financial Secretary. He has been a member of the Riverfest Committee since the first one was held in Watertown over 30 years ago.

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Amy Buchholtz 

Director

Amy was born and raised here in Watertown.  She returned after acquiring a Masters of Fine Arts – Painting.  She is married to Dr. William Buchholtz and has one daughter.  She is a real estate investor and property manager of Buchholtz Property Management LLC.  She has organized and executed many building developments and offers a variety of rental options to the Watertown area community.  Along with her passion to provide quality rental opportunities, Amy is owner and instructor of Paint Night WI.  Her personal art is focused on large abstract oil paintings.  She is an active member of the Watertown Arts Council, River Valley Alliance Church and participates in many local community enrichment events.

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Sandra (Draeger) Budewitz

Director

Sandra (Draeger) Budewitz has owned and operated Sandra D's Bridal Boutique on Watertown's Main Street for 30 years. Born and raised in Watertown, Sandra is a 1983 graduate of Watertown High School. In 1985, she earned her Associate’s Degree in Clothing and Textiles at MATC in Madison. Prior to starting her bridal business, she worked as manager of JoAnn Fabrics in Greenfield as well as a sales associate at Snyder's Clothing in Oconomowoc. Her work experience, along with her education and talent as a seamstress, contributed to her success in starting her business. Sandra and her husband Jeff will be celebrating 24 years of marriage this July. Sandra is active in the community and is especially dedicated to her role with the Watertown Main Street Program. She has been involved with the program since 2006 and is currently the Vice President of the program's Board of Directors. In 2017, Sandra was inducted into the Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame. As a member of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, Sandra also serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors on behalf of the Main Street Program. Her other community involvement includes serving on the Watertown Community Foundation Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of Inspire Magazine

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Susanne Bradow 

Director

Susanne has a passion to work with organizations that help individuals as well as ones that have helped the Watertown area with positive growth.  After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology she worked in a hospital laboratory, a Blood Bank laboratory, and as a supervisor of a clinic laboratory until deciding to work at Bradow Jewelers, the business started with her husband, Paul in 1996. Susanne and her husband are committed through their business to keep giving back to the community that has given them so much support. She has served on the Watertown Area YMCA board of Managers as a former Board Chair. She served on the Watertown Tennis Association Board and held the position of treasurer.  She assist with the formation and needs of the Watertown Air Cadets. She is currently an active volunteer for the Watertown Main Street Program Promotions Committee events and fundraising efforts, school organizations and church activities. 

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Kevin Clifford

Director

A lifelong resident of Watertown, Kevin has worked for over 30 years in the family newspaper business until the family sold the business in December of 2018.  He is am currently a Real Estate Professional at Realty Executives Platinum in Watertown and also is  President of Wepco Printing in Watertown. He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Wisconsin — Stout, and has been very active in the Watertown community. He is Past President of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the Watertown Rotary Club, Vice President and Trustee of the Joseph Davies Scholarship Foundation, board member of the Watertown Area Community Foundation, board member of the Watertown Main Street Program and Past chairperson of the Watertown Tourism Commission> he has also served on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin. He is a member of the Watertown Elks Lodge and the Watertown Country Club. He and his wife, Linette, have two children: Morgan (Concordia University) and John (Watertown High School).

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Debby Fischer

Director

Debby is a longtime Watertown resident. She has been a Spanish teacher at Watertown High School for 32 years and the High School Scholarship Coordinator for 21 years.  She graduated from UW-Madison and has completed a Masters of Education degree. She is married to Todd Fischer who works for BMO Harris in both Watertown and Madison. They have two children — Callahan who works for National Guardian Life in Madison and Molly who is a junior at UW-Madison. She says she is amazed by the generosity of the Watertown Community and by the support it gives to our high school students.

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Tom Levi

Director

Tom has lived in Watertown since 1980, where he raised his two sons, Andreas and Peter, who both graduated from Watertown High School.  He was an attorney and partner for 37 years in the Watertown law firm, currently known as, Bender, Larson, Chidley, Koppes and Associates, S. C.  He was also the Assistant City Attorney and City Attorney (part-time) for the City of Watertown (1980-2012).  Tom fully retired from his law practice in 2017. Tom is a founding Director and was formerly legal counsel to the Watertown Area Community Foundation (1991 – present).  He was also active in many local, nonprofit organizations in Watertown during his career. He is currently a member and Past President of the Watertown Rotary Club (1984-present), and President and founding member of Crossroads House of Watertown, a nonprofit organization, which combats and prevents homelessness for residents of Watertown by providing rental assistance grants (2001-present). Furthermore, in his retirement, Tom pursues other interests in community service by teaching and facilitating discussion groups and acting as a group facilitator in state prisons for the Alternatives to Violence Project.

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William Oswald

Director

Since 1997, Bill has served as a financial advisor and currently co-owns Oswald Konz Financial Group. Bill's concern for the needs of our area has led him to serve as board member and President of the Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce, Board and Finance Committee member of the Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation, member of the Watertown Rotary Club, Board and Finance Committee member of Marquardt Village, Friends of the Watertown Public Library, Watertown Area YMCA Capital Campaign Committee and youth sports coach for soccer, basketball, football and baseball. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire with a degree in business finance and is a Certified Financial Planner. Bill has also earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary professional designation from Fiduciary360.