Join us for the Great Pumpkin Smash Dash!

Grab your family, friends, and favorite costume and join us on Saturday, October 15th for our 7th fun run/walk – now with a Halloween theme!

The Great Pumpkin Smash Dash kicks off at The Lone Girl Brewing Company and takes you through the streets of Waunakee on a Halloween excursion full of tricks and treats! Festivities include a pre-shuffle warm up, treat stations along the route, and a post-shuffle Halloween party including awards for the best costume, top fundraisers, and a pumpkin smash. This family friendly event has something for ALL!

Again for 2022! – We’ll have both the 5K fun/run walk AND a 1-mile family fun walk.

Online registration will be available until October 13th and onsite, but register by 2:00 PM on Friday, October 1st to ensure that you receive your t-shirt at the packet pick-up.

Event Schedule

7:30-8:45 AM – Check in at The Lone Girl Brewing Company — have your photo taken with your group and other friends; cash bar will be open

8:45 AM – Warm-up

9:00 AM – 5K Run & Walk Start

9:05 AM – 1 mile walk start

10:00 AM – Post-Shuffle Party inside the Lone Girl and pumpkin smash on the rooftop! We’ll present awards for individual, family, and team costumes and for the top fundraisers. The Lone Girl will have hot cocoa, beer, wine, and cocktails, along with items from their menu available for purchase. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection.

Registration – Includes event t-shirt this year!

$35.00 Adults

$30.00 Youth (up to age 12)

Packet and Apparel Pick-up

Pick up race numbers, sponsor coupons, and apparel on Friday, October 14th from 2:00-7:00 PM at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, 208 S Century Avenue, Waunakee.

Race Route

The Great Pumpkin Smash Dash takes place on city sidewalks and the paved paths in Waunakee. There is one moderate hill about 2 miles into the route with trick-or-treat candy stations along the way to keep you going! The event starts and finishes at The Lone Girl.

About Waunakee Neighborhood Connection

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is a nonprofit social service agency that provides comprehensive programs, services, and case management to families in the Waunakee area who are experiencing financial hardships. It also provides numerous opportunities to Waunakee residents of all ages to get involved in volunteer service that makes a positive difference right here in our community! Visit our website to learn more.

Waiver and Release of Liability

A waiver will be required for each participant and will be available to sign at the Packet & Apparel Pick-up on October 14 or at event registration on October 15. You can also print the waiver and bring the signed copy(ies) with you to turn in.

Other questions? Contact us at wncteam@waunakeenc.org or (608)849-5740.

Are You Looking for a Way to Make a Positive Difference in Waunakee? Volunteer with Neighborhood Connection!

Here at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, we continue to experience tremendous growth in the number of clients we are serving. We’ve now reached a milestone of having more than 350 registered households (nearly 1200 individuals). To better serve our client families, we’ll be extending our hours to five days a week in October. With this growth comes opportunity and, in our case, that means new volunteer opportunities!

All of our programs and services are powered by volunteerism. With our “neighbors helping neighbors” approach to providing support to those in need and to addressing challenges in the community, we have a variety of ways to get involved that can match your interests, skills, goals, and schedule.

Want to learn more? Register for an upcoming Volunteer Interest Session and visit our Volunteer page for more information about the opportunities we currently have available and how to get started — and feel free to contact us if you have an interest that you don’t see listed that you’d like to explore.

 

It’s Time to Fill the Bus with School Supplies!

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection kicked off the annual Fill the Bus school supply drive on July 25th. The drive will last through Thursday, August 13th and will provide needed school supplies for students in the Waunakee School District whose families may have difficulty affording them.

New school supplies* can be dropped off in the Lamers school bus parked in the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection parking lot at 208 S Century Avenue.

Most needed supplies this year include:

• Backpacks for all ages… especially larger ones suitable for middle school and high school students
• Composition notebooks…wide lined, solid colors or marbled only, no designs please
• Pencil pouches… with 3 holes to fit in a binder
• Accordion folders
• Binder dividers… 8 tabs
• Crayons… 48 count
• Colored pencils… 12 count
• Set of colorful pens
• Markers
• Erasers… basic, pink rectangular erasers, no pencil tops needed

Families needing school supplies should contact their child’s school to make arrangements to receive them.

For more ideas about needed supplies, visit the school supply lists on the school district’s website.

* We are collecting new school supplies only for this drive with the exception of calculators which may be gently used and in good working condition.

Annual “Fill the Bus” School Supply Drive Through August 13th

Please join Waunakee Neighborhood Connection in helping students in the Waunakee Community School District whose families may have difficulty affording school supplies this year. Now through Thursday, August 13th, donations of new school supplies can be dropped off in the yellow Lamers school bus in the Neighborhood Connection parking lot at 208 S Century Avenue in Waunakee.

Last year, the “Fill the Bus” program provided supplies for more than 170 students. It is anticipated that the need will be even greater this year due to the rising cost of school supplies and the increasing number of students in the schools.

The most needed items this year include backpacks for all ages, especially larger ones suitable for middle school and high school students; composition notebooks that are wide lined, solid colors or marbled only, no designs please; pencil pouches with 3 holes to fit in a binder; accordion folders; 8-tab binder dividers; 48 count crayons; 12 count colored pencils; sets of colorful pens; markers; and pink rectangular erasers.

Monetary donations are also accepted and can be made online at https://www.waunakeeneighborhoodconnection.org or by mailing a check to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, 208 S Century Avenue, Waunakee, WI 53597. These donations will be used to purchase any supplies that are needed beyond what is collected during the drive. Supplies that are collected will be distributed to students during school registration in August. Families in need of supplies should contact their child’s school to request them.

Everyone is invited to Neighborhood Nights!

Have you driven down Century Avenue and seen the WNC sign and thought, “what is that place?” Or maybe you’ve dropped off donations and wondered what happens with them next? Our upcoming Neighborhood Nights will give you the chance to find out!

Neighborhood Nights are a great opportunity to learn more about how Neighborhood Connection engages our community in supporting and empowering one another, and about how you can be a part of our “neighbors helping neighbors” approach. Now in our 15th year as a charitable nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Connection provides numerous free needs-based programs and services for neighbors experiencing financial hardships, and volunteer opportunities that result in thousands of local lives touched each year. 

Drop in with your family on Neighborhood Nights for a self-guided tour, learn about client programs and volunteer opportunities, and connect with others who live in your neighborhood! We’ll be serving ice pops and our Student Team will lead supervised activities for kids ages 3-12.

While we encourage neighbors to attend the night designated for your neighborhood so that you can meet and mingle with folks who live nearby, all are welcome to attend whichever event best fits your schedule. All Neighborhood Nights will go from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Thursday, July 21

  • Westbridge
  • Meadowbrook
  • Six Mile Creek
  • Pleasant View Heights
  • Capitol Estates
  • Waunakee Heights
  • Northridge Estates
  • Dane
  • Vienna

Thursday, August 4

  • Westview Meadows
  • Centennial Heights
  • Dormal Heights
  • Country Aire
  • Original Plat/Downtown
  • Springfield

Thursday, August 18

  • Southbridge
  • Kilkenny Farms
  • Castle Crest
  • Castle Creek/Woodland Area
  • Steeplechase

Thursday, September 8

  • Carriage Ridge/Tuscany
  • Savannah Village
  • Arboretum Village
  • Heritage Hills
  • Westport
  • Bishops Bay

Student Team Kicks Off Summer Projects!

Our summer Student Team volunteer opportunities are now available for teens entering 7th-12th grade. Once they have completed an orientation and submitted the required paperwork, they are invited to sign up for those that fit their interests and schedule.

Important first steps! Register to become a Neighborhood Connection volunteer

Prior to volunteering, we require that all volunteers watch our orientation video, complete an online application, and turn in three important documents:

  • Confidentiality statement
  • Liability waiver (also requires parent signature)
  • Volunteer Handbook acknowledgement

You can access the video, online application, and downloadable forms on the Volunteer page of our website. 

Summer Student Team Projects

We have a great variety of summer projects that will be both fun and make a positive difference in the Waunakee community!

Neighborhood Nights (July 7 & 21, Aug 4 & 18) – Lead organized activities for kids ages 3-12 while their parents tour Neighborhood Connection and learn more about our services, programs, and opportunities for donating and volunteering.

WaunaFest Parade (July 31)  – Walk in the Parade and help collect school supplies from parade-goers along the route for our Fill the Bus drive!

National Night Out (Aug 9) – Staff the Neighborhood Connection booth at Village Park for this fun community-wide event. We’ll have an activity for kids and hand out program information.

Pack School Supplies for Kids in Need (Week of Aug 8) – Pack donated school supplies for 170+ kids in the Waunakee schools whose families are unable to afford purchasing them. This is one of our most impactful projects throughout the year!

Community Store (multiple dates) – Work alongside other team members to sort donations, get items organized in storage, and set up the shopping areas so that they’re ready for our 300+ client families to get what they need. 

Yard Beautification (multiple dates) – If you love getting your hands a bit dirty and being outdoors, join in with making Neighborhood Connection’s yard look great by weeding, trimming, and picking up litter so that it always looks welcoming for clients and visitors. 

Are You Looking for a Way to Make a Positive Difference in Waunakee? Volunteer with Neighborhood Connection!

Here at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, we continue to experience tremendous growth in the number of clients we are serving. In 2022, we reached a milestone of having more than 300 registered households (nearly 1100 individuals). With growth comes opportunity and, in our case, that means new volunteer opportunities!

All of our programs and services are powered by volunteerism. With our “neighbors helping neighbors” approach to providing support to those in need and to addressing challenges in the community, we have a variety of ways to get involved that can match your interests, skills, goals, and schedule.

Visit our Volunteer page for more information about the opportunities we currently have available and how to get started — and feel free to contact us if you have an interest that you don’t see listed that you’d like to explore with 

Be a Part of Building Connections in Waunakee

The “Building Connections” program series is designed to do just that by introducing neighbors in Waunakee to each other and to lived experiences that may be different than their own. The purpose of the series is to promote community engagement, build relationships, and foster conversations – all with a goal of continual learning and growth.

Programs are FREE and open to anyone age 16 and older who lives or works in the Waunakee area. They are scheduled to be held in-person at the Waunakee Public Library but will move to Zoom, if necessary. Please be sure to register to be notified of any changes. 

You are welcome to register for individual programs or for the entire series.

Program Schedule | 2021-2022

Book Discussions (see below for full descriptions)

Tell Me Who You Are:

Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity

by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo

Part 1: Wed, Sept 29 | 6:30-8 PM

Part 2: Wed, Oct 13 | 6:30-8 PM

The Undocumented Americans

by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Thur, Jan 20 | 6:30-8 PM

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

by Cathy Park Hong

Thurs, May 5 | 6:30-8 PM

Workshops and Experiences (see below for full descriptions)

Skills for Bridging the Divide

Presented by Braver Angels

NEW DATE! Thurs, April 28   | 6-9 PM

Poverty Simulation

Facilitated by Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

NEW DATE! Sun, June 26 | 1-5 PM

Waunakee Is Home – LIVE!

Sat, July 16 | 10 AM-12 PM

Program Descriptions

Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing Our Stories of Race, Culture, and Identity

by Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo

Chapters 1-5: Wednesday, September 29 | 6:30-8:00 PM

Chapters 6-10: Wednesday, October 13 | 6:30-8:00 PM

In this deeply inspiring book, Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi recount their experiences talking to people from all walks of life about race and identity on a cross-country tour of America. Spurred by the realization that they had nearly completed high school without hearing any substantive discussion about racism in school, the two young women deferred college admission for a year to collect first-person accounts of how racism plays out in this country every day–and often in unexpected ways.

Skills for Bridging the Divide

NEW DATE! Thursday, April 28 | 6:00-9:00 PM

In our current polarized political environment, many people avoid or dread conversations with friends or family members whose politics differ from their own. Braver Angels Skills for Bridging the Divide workshop teaches skills for having respectful conversations that clarify differences, search for common ground, and affirm the importance of the relationship. They also give participants a safe environment to practice those skills. This workshop is presented in partnership with Braver Angels, a nation-wide organization that works to bring Americans together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic.

The Undocumented Americans

by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Thursday, January 20 | 6:30-8:00 PM

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST – One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation.

Poverty Simulation

Facilitated by Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

NEW DATE! Sunday, June 26 | 1:00-5:00 PM

This four-hour immersive learning experience is designed to help participants glimpse the realities of life when it is difficult to make ends meet. Over the course of the simulation, participants will be presented with a series of challenges that mimic the complex, everyday obstacles that billions of men, women, and children grapple with as they deal with financial insecurity. It will help to build empathy for families living in poverty and prompt strategic thinking and conversations about possible effective responses for our community.

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

by Cathy Park Hong

Thursday, May 5 | 6:30-8:00 PM

Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. With sly humor and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.

Waunakee Is Home – LIVE!

Saturday, July 16 | 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

This fun and engaging experience will be a mash-up of Create Waunakee’s “Waunakee is Home” Facebook series that introduced us to neighbors with a variety of backgrounds and experiences and The Human Library®, a library of people where you can borrow a human for conversation. It will give participants the opportunity to meet with neighbors who may have different lifestyles, diagnoses, beliefs, disabilities, social status, or ethnic origins for “open book” conversations to build understanding and connections. https://indeedhi.re/3HyUeif

Introducing Our New Client Services Specialist

Vivi Velasquez | Client Services Specialist

Vivi Velasquez has joined Waunakee Neighborhood Connection as our bilingual client services specialist. She is currently a senior at Edgewood College studying Criminal Justice with a Human Services concentration. She was born in Honduras and arrived in the U.S. when she was about a year old. She has two siblings, ages 17 and 13.

Her interest in helping people and making a difference started when she volunteered at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection where she initially translated and advocated for the needs of Spanish-speaking families and assisted with monthly shopping events at the age of 10.

Vivi gained experience working with refugee and asylum seekers when she interned for Jewish Social Services of Madison. She also has experience working with undocumented youth, college students and DACAmented individuals, creating safe spaces to foster community, mentorship, and advocating for change in policies, both locally and nationally. 

She is very excited to be working for Waunakee Neighborhood Connection and be involved with a community that has the potential to empower, generate a sense of belonging, and create an everlasting change for generations to come.

In her free time, she loves to watch movies/shows, listen to music, and play soccer. She also loves trying new foods with her partner. Her two favorite things in the world are bubble tea and ramen! 

Vivi will be in the office on Wednesdays from 2:00-7:30 PM and Fridays from 8:30 AM-1:00 PM. She will be available via phone and email to work with clients throughout the week. She can be reached starting September 8th at vvelasquez@waunakeenc.org and (608)849-5740.

Octopi’s Newest Brew Celebrates Waunakee and Supports Neighborhood Connection

Valley Low IPA available now at Octopi Brewing in Waunakee

Octopi’s newest brew from The Giving Brewery, Valley Low IPA (5.1%), is available now in the Taproom at Octopi and online for $12/six pack. The delicious low ABV Wisconsin-style IPA celebrates Waunakee’s 150th birthday and supports Waunakee Neighborhood Connection with 100% of the profits being donated to the organization.

The beautifully designed can depicts the path of Six-Mile Creek through the Village and the name is derived from the definition of Waunakee as “fair and pleasant valley.”

Six-packs can be ordered online at https://orderoctopi.square.site/.

Our thanks go out to Octopi, the Village of Waunakee, and Create Waunakee for designating Waunakee Neighborhood Connection as the recipient of this collaborative anniversary offering!

The Giving Brewery is the charitable branch of Octopi’s business – each quarter they partner with a different, local organization to craft a beer in support of their efforts 🍺 100% of the profits go back to the partner organization