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Born Learning

Michael Johnson, 5, of Onalaska gives hop scotch a try in this July 2016 file photo after a ceremony to mark the grand opening of the Born Learning Trail in La Crosse. The trail is designed to help adults prepare their children to arrive at school ready to succeed, and was installed by United Way.

Outdoors retailer Scheels has volunteered to match $25,000 dollar-for-dollar in new or increased donations to United Way until the end of January, after its first $50,000 challenge grant was met with success.

United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley raised over $104,000 in response to that first $50,000 challenge. The store’s foundation matched any new or increased donation to United Way, dollar for dollar from August through November.

Given the success of their initial challenge grant, Scheels has stepped up its support of United Way with another $25,000 challenge to help achieve a $2 million fundraising goal. United Way is currently 65 percent of the way to that goal.

“We see so much generosity during the holiday season, and this year, we’re thrilled that Scheels is providing an extra opportunity for donors to double the impact of their giving to United Way,” said Jan Porath, executive director of United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley. “More than 26,000 people in our community received help last year because of United Way investments in education, financial stability, health and basic needs services.

“We’re not government-funded, we raise all of our funds from local residents and businesses and we invest those donations into local services that help our friends and neighbors here in the Chippewa Valley. It’s amazing to have such generous support from our local Scheels store.”

Currently, 27 Chippewa Valley nonprofits receive funding from United Way. If current donation levels sustain, United Way plans to issue over $1 million in grants to local nonprofits each year through 2021.

Community members interested in supporting their local United Way can donate online at, by calling the local United Way office at 715-834-5043 or requesting a donation form by calling or emailing

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