About Us

In 1926 West Bend High School alumni contributed to a fund used for $50 book awards given to outstanding graduates.   The West Bend High School Alumni Foundation was established in 1945 and solicited funds for book awards and for a broader base of financial support.  In 1961 the foundation obtained tax-exempt status and began the scholarship and aid program with awards totaling $600.  The foundation merged with the West Bend Scholarship Fund, Inc. in 1972 and COLUMNS was born.  That year they distributed $16,550 in scholarships. 

Since 2008 COLUMNS has awarded close to or over $200,000 each year in scholarships, with 2013 seeing scholarships totaling $262,800 awarded to graduating seniors.COLUMNS is headed by a board of directors, consisting of 21 members that meet four times a year: February, May, September, and November.  The general membership consists of over 65 members that attend the annual meeting every year in November.  There are 7 permanent committees and two ad-hoc committees that all meet on an as-need basis throughout the year.

COLUMNS provides both academic and technical scholarships to graduates of West Bend East and West Bend West High Schools as they advance their education.

There are two types of scholarships:

  • COLUMNS Scholarships and COLUMNS-administered Scholarships.
  • COLUMNS administers scholarships for individuals, organizations, and other foundations.

Members of the COLUMNS scholarship committee interview scholarship applicants in March of the year.  Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic standing; financial need; evidence of character, leadership, and determination; and meeting the specific requirements of the individual donor.

COLUMNS is headed by a board of directors, consisting of 21 members that meet four times a year: February, May, September, and November.  The general membership consists of over 65 members that attend the annual meeting every year in November.  There are 7 permanent committees and two ad-hoc committees that all meet on an as-need basis throughout the year.

Committees:

  • Finance and Investment Committee 
  • Scholarship Committee 
  • Membership Development Committee 
  • Public Relations Committee 
  • Symphony Committee 
  • 5K Run/Walk Committee 
  • Youth Concert Committee 
  • Membership Committee 

 

 

 

West Bend Columns Board of Directors

 

Rose Petitte, President

Deb Cahoon, Vice President 

Josie Minskey Brzezinski, Secretary 

John Conwell, Treasurer 

 

Gary Clemens

Anne Marie Danaher

Kelly Egan

Gaytha Hillman

Michelle Hockers

Marilyn Holmquist

Prudence Pick Hway

Shelly Johnson

Laurie Kirsch

Dave Kohlmann

Terri Kramer

Ken Meuler

Karen O'Meara

Lynn Punzenberger

Bink Steinbach

Membership:

  • Members are expected to serve on one or more of the many COLUMNS committees to increase fund-raising resources.
  • Members are required to sell a minimum of 5 of the distributed MSO Holiday Pops Concert tickets at a cost of $20.00 each, or make a donation of $100 or more.
  • Members are expected to attend the Annual Meeting in November.
  • Members are expected to act as liaisons to the community promoting COLUMNS and its ideals.

 

West Bend Columns Members

 

Tracey Conners         

Amy Curler 

Hillary Danaher

Andrea Dassow      

Kris Deiss            

Mary Dengel     

Phyllis Eichenseer  

Shelli Ellis

Kathy Engelbrecht

Mary Gamerdinger       

Patti Geidel       

John Gonring    

Darlene Hammer            

Brian Heimark           

Ann Kaiser         

Laura Keberle   

Amy Kieser     

Kirsten Kletzine   

Pat Kraemer   

Nancy Kunkler         

Nan Lustig          

Nancy Mehring

Beth Merkowitz              

Barb Miller            

Janet Nienow   

Mary Ellen O’Connor   

Erik Olson

Christina Ongert

Joel Ongert

Amanda Palmstein 

Suzy Rieke         

Sue Schemelin 

Tonnie Schmidt

Sue Schmitt

Katie Schoenwetter

Kelli Schultz

Rita Sepersky

Kathy Slesar

Janice Stauske

Linda Steiner

Laurie Wagner