West Allis Community Improvement Foundation

The West Allis Community Improvement Foundation (WACIF) was founded as a not-for-profit charitable organization in the mid-1980s to promote cultural, educational, recreational, civic, and public improvement programs and services. The Foundation is supported solely by monetary gifts, gifts of services, and other in-kind offerings to promote community projects and programs that preserve, foster, and enhance the economic and social well-being of the citizens, businesses, and organizations of the City of West Allis, Wisconsin.

Historically, the Foundation has annually sponsored two main events: a Community Thanksgiving Breakfast that supports the many food pantries serving West Allis residents and a Charity Gala that benefits a specially recognized group or organization. The Breakfast is usually held the Monday in November before Thanksgiving Day. The Gala is usually held in March or April, depending on when Easter falls each year.

The Foundation Board of Directors selects the designated recipient of funds raised at the Gala each year, almost a year in advance. Interested parties may apply for that selection by sending a letter and submitting the appropriate application form by the time specified.

2022 CHARITY GALA - APRIL 24, 2022

Our 2022 beneficiary is Exploit No More, Exploit No More provides community education and supportive services to survivors of sex trafficking. Exploit No More is dedicated to see all survivors of sex trafficking treated with dignity and have access to safe housing, supportive services, and the ability to move forward to work toward their goals. Learn more about their programs, including Freedom House.


The 2021 Charity Gala was held on May 8, 2021, from 6 - 10:30 p.m. at The Gage, 1139 S. 70th St. The sold-out event consisted of a night of food, raffles, and a silent auction. 

This 2020 Gala benefitted the West Allis/West Milwaukee Heroin and Opiate Task Force's Safe & Supported Program, which teaches students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink and use drugs by helping them develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence, skills to effectively cope with anxiety, increased knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse, and by improving cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors. 



With all the challenges faced in 2021, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a 2021 success in the West Allis community. During the month of November, the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation hosted a Holiday Food Drive at the West Allis Farmers Market to help fulfill an urgent need for 12 West Allis food pantries. The food drive was an easy, fun, safe way to donate and help families in our community before the holiday season.

With the outpouring of support from the community, we were able to raise $20,942 for 12 local food pantries and each pantry was provided three boxes of non-perishable food items. While there are so many deserving food pantries and organizations in need in our community, these are the pantries your donations went to:

  • First Lutheran Church
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Good Samaritan Outreach
  • Holy Assumption - St. Augustine
  • Mother of Perpetual Help
  • Mount Hope Lutheran Church
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church
  • St. Matthias Catholic Church
  • St. Peter’s Episcopal
  • St. Rita’s Catholic Church
  • Woodlawn Lutheran Church
  • Apostle Presbyterian Church

To our community members who generously donated a significant amount, we’d like to acknowledge and thank you for your contribution; Alderman Thomas Lajsic, Cynthia Qualich, Connie Bauer, Kathy Smith, Mary Hook, Barbara Rabiego, Paul & Carol Ziehler, Gunite Contracting Corporation, and B&K Bar Supplies.  Also thank you to everyone else that provided small monetary contributions to held support our local food pantries. 

We would also like the thank Cobalt Partners for their incredibly generous monetary donation of $20,000 in support of our local food pantries.

The support we receive each year continues to amaze us. Thank you again to everyone in the community who pitched in to volunteer, drop off food, and provided monetary donations. Every contribution big or small goes a long way.


Read Cathy's full message (PDF). She has said, quote, "I am grateful that you chose to give today to support the food pantries in West Allis. no one can do it all but everyone can do something is also an eternal truth. With your help by supporting this food drive, we can do something for the folks in West Allis who don't have the advantages that you and I have. It is my prayer that you and yours will enjoy a holiday season that is bright! Thank you for caring."

2021 FOOD DRIVE - NOVEMBER 20, 2021

The West Allis Community Improvement Foundation (WACIF) Holiday Food Drive is officially set! Visit the West Allis Farmers Market, 6501 W. National Ave., on Saturday, Nov. 20, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.to donate non-perishable food items to benefit West Allis food pantries.  Shop the market and enjoy food trucks from Tots on the Street, Taqueria La Vecindad, El Sazón Dominicano, and Nothing Bundt Cakes as well as hot beverages from Ay Chihuahua Coffee. Look for the city logo trailer to drop off your items. The first 100 people to donate five items or more can win a free city logo merchandise item. Your donation will make an impact on the lives of so many in need within our community this holiday season.  

If you are unable to attend, you can still help by donating! Your tax-deductible donation to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation can be made securely online via Paypal, here.


Special Thank you to our Gala Sponsors:

  • Golden Event Sponsor: Granite Hills Hospital
  • Golden Ticket Sponsor: Community Medical Services
  • Golden Sponsor: Motor Castings Foundation
  • Prevention Partner Sponsorships: Landmark Credit Union, Roger's Behavioral Hospital, Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers
  • Friends of Foundation: UW Credit Union, Great Midwest Bank, CPL Industries, Schaff Funeral Home, Elliot’s Ace Hardware
  • Cash Donations: WA Women's Club, Brad & Joanne Fluyeras, WA Historical Society

 Special Thank you for all of the Raffle & Silent Auction Items that were donated for the Gala! 

join or volunteer

WACIF appoints its own members subject to West Allis Common Council approval. Members serve three-year terms, which expire in September.

Foundation members attend meetings as called and assist with planning the Charity Gala and Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving. Members are asked to participate, donate and volunteer at the events and assist with planning such as soliciting donations, donating auction items, or other activities required to make these events a success.

Volunteers are needed for our two annual events. The Charity Gala requires the most assistance, although the majority of work is handled by the Gala Planning Committee and beneficiary group. Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving volunteers assist with sorting, packing, delivery of donated non-perishables.

To join the Foundation or to volunteer for an event, please contact us.


Your tax-deductible donation to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation can be made securely online via Paypal here.

You can also support the Foundation when you shop Amazon® through the AmazonSmile® program. Visit smile.amazon.com to learn more.

The West Allis Community Improvement Foundation will accept stock, property of value, and will consider equipment donations on a case-by-case basis. For additional information and inquiries please contact us.

Where do donations go?

In addition to two annual fundraisers, WACIF supports numerous non-profit organizations and community events in West Allis. Recent activities include:

  • Donations made to support creation of West Allis Dog Park
  • Aurora Health Care Foundation Evening of Promise, benefiting the enhancement of neonatal intensive care parent and family rooms at Aurora West Allis Medical Center: Donations totaling $1,750 from 2013–2018
  • West Allis Historical Society & Historical Commission’s Settlers Weekend 2018: $3,000 donation
  • Crime Stoppers: $1,500 donation in 2017
  • MACC Fund: $200 donation in 2017 & 2018
  • West Allis Central and Nathan Hale High Schools: Donation of $200 to Hale in 2018 and $100 to Central 2016 for school fundraising efforts
  • WAWM Heroin/Opiate Task Force: $250 donation to Task Force Resource Fair in 2016
  • Joyce Ann Radtke Skate Park: Opened in 2014 at 84th St. and National Ave., the City’s skate park is funded and maintained in part by donations made to the West Allis Community Improvement Foundation, Inc.

Past event photo galleries

2019 Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving

2018 Community Dinner Dance/Gala

2017 Community Breakfast of Thanks & Giving