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A Message from Kathy

Posted on : 07 Dec 2022 | No Comments

It is the perfect time of the year to extend our gratitude to our community, volunteers, sponsors, board of directors, and especially our team at KANDU that commit their lives to serving our clients.  We’ve truly been fortunate to have a strong core group of people who will do whatever it takes to care for the individuals we serve. 

As most of you are aware, each year in November, we ask the community to stand with us during our annual appeal by making contributions to support our community members with disabilities and disadvantages. These annual contributions are critical as we continue to offer life-enriching opportunities by expanding and adding new programs and services. We consider those who support KANDU as members of the KANDU family and hope they take pride in the many things we accomplished together in 2022.  Here are just a few of our accomplishments:

  • The state of Wisconsin licensed our new adult family home allowing us to provide a safe, long-term, and comfortable living environment for the clients who reside there.
  • We established/reestablished support for over 109 clients and watched others move on to become active contributing members of our community because of their training and support at KANDU.
  • We sold two properties (The Armory & Pontiac Convention Center), hosted a Best Events auction to reduce excess inventory, and changed the business model for our catering and rental business to ensure a profitable contribution to our bottom line.
  • Conducted employee and client opinion surveys followed by small group meetings with all staff to discuss the results and gain new ideas on how to enhance and improve our culture. This resulted in a new training plan, changes in our organizational structure, and a wonderful new event for clients in December.
  • With the help of many community volunteers, we presented KANDU’s third annual Dragons on the Rock and ninth annual Grapes & Hops fundraisers, strengthening community relationships and generating revenues to support our programs.
  • We welcomed Denise Schardt as our Director of Finance, and Linda Ross as our Director of Fund Development. These valued team members bring the expertise, experience, and talent needed to grow our programs and support our mission.
  • Our Livin’ & Learnin’ program, designed to enhance independence for people with disabilities ages 14 and up, moved into a new residential-style home where they learn daily living skills in a real-world environment.
  • Clients enjoyed monthly themed fun days where we celebrated with games, treats, and friendship; our annual client-favorite Halloween party drew the highest attendance on record, and in December KANDU staff and board members will serve clients during our first client “Snowball” formal dinner and dance.
  • We acquired another new bus so clients can enjoy more day trips and life-enriching experiences.
  • With the help of Blackhawk Technical College, we launched a robust training program “KANDU University” for the ongoing development of our most valuable asset…our staff. We welcomed MARKKNUCKLES & Associates Human Resource Management Specialists to conduct onsite client compliance training for all of our managers and supervisors.
  • We worked with Blackhawk Technical College to develop new processes and efficiencies in our production operation.
  • A newly formed facilities and construction committee is leading the way in planning for KANDU’s growth and sustainability.
  • We established a safety committee and developed new and improved safety training and processes.
  • We welcomed Aaron Bussan, Vice President – First National Bank and Trust and Tracy Pierner, President – Blackhawk Technical College to our board, adding new intellect and insights to our talented board of directors.


I am humbled everyday by the remarkable work happening inside and outside our walls.  We could not do everything we do without the generous donations of charitable givers and overwhelming community support. Thanks to the strategic application of these contributions, opportunities for adults with disabilities to learn daily living and work skills, receive specialized care, make lasting friendships with peers, and create positive community ties were increased and expanded this past year. And we’ve got more work to do. We believe in setting our standards high and then going above and beyond for our clients. We’re lucky to be able to rely on our community to help us continue to create meaningful, lasting change. 

On behalf of the entire KANDU family, we wish you and yours a blessed holiday season full of hope, love, and joy.