85th Annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade Rings in the Holiday Season While Helping those in Need

Nov. 14, 2011

The local holiday season gets its official kick-off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 19th with the 85th annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade, the community’s most beloved seasonal event. Featuring more than 100 units of entertainment, including lavish floats, live animals, high school bands and, of course, Santa Claus, the 2011 event marks Johnson Controls’ ninth year as title sponsor. The Holiday Parade is more than simply a time to make merry, however; it’s also an opportunity to help feed the hungry in our local community.


Johnson Controls is again combining its sponsorships of the Milwaukee Holiday Parade and Food for Families, a program of the Hunger Task Force. Parade-goers are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation, which will be picked up along the parade route by Johnson Controls employees and their families. They will be volunteering their time through the company’s Community Involvement Program, which recently expanded to become available to employees around the world.


“During the five years Johnson Controls has sponsored the Food for Families program, we’ve seen both a rise in the need for food in our community and a rise in response from our employee volunteers through the Community Involvement Program,” said Mary Dowell, director of global community relations at Johnson Controls. “Last year, Milwaukee became the fourth poorest city in the nation, a fact that certainly accentuates the urgency of our local food crisis. If each of the more than 100,000 people who attend the parade bring at least one non-perishable food item with them on November 19, we can avert the emergency already underway at area food pantries and homeless shelters.”


In addition to collecting food donations, the approximately 150 Johnson Controls volunteers will also be escorting giant character balloons along the parade route and supporting parade logistics. An integral part of

Johnson Controls’ philanthropic efforts, the Community Involvement Program has a 32-year legacy of harnessing the power of volunteerism. “There is a thriving spirit of volunteerism embedded in the Johnson Controls culture at every level, worldwide,” added Dowell. “And nowhere is this sentiment demonstrated more than in Milwaukee during the holiday season.” Johnson Controls’ 2011 sponsored float will carry the message, “Unwrap the Spirit of Giving through Volunteerism,” and will feature employees in oversized gift boxes from around the world.


Carolyn Woznicki, Johnson Controls’ vice president global purchasing and supply chain, Building Efficiency, will be the grand marshal of the 85th annual Milwaukee Holiday Parade. Woznicki, along with her husband, Mike, and children, Brian (13), Steven (11), and Nicholas (9 ¾), will lead the parade route by carriage.


The Milwaukee Holiday Parade, which has been produced by the DeGrace family for more than 50 years, will begin at the corner of Kilbourn and Prospect Avenues. The parade will continue west on Kilbourn and turn south on Old World Third, ending in front of the Shops at Grand Avenue at approximately 11 a.m. More information, including a detailed parade map, is available at www.milwaukeeparade.com.



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