"To make a dance truly special, you need concentration, timing, physical stamina, lots of practice, teamwork and creativity," said Driver. "That makes it a lot like football. I knew dancing was going to be tough, but I have gained a lot of respect for dancers and all performers through my experience on Dancing with the Stars. There is so much that goes into creating a good performance, a lot of which is behind the scenes and you never see - like the work that UPAF just did to raise money. Without it, it's game over. That's where the donors come in. They're a part of the team. They make it happen. That's special. They deserve a trophy."
This year's campaign was co-chaired by David Lubar, president and chief executive officer of Lubar & Company and Carlene Ziegler, managing director of Artisan Partners.
"We are very thankful to the many individuals, companies and foundations that support UPAF," Lubar said. "The generosity of our donors reflects the community's commitment to enhancing our quality of life through the performing arts."
During the Finale, UPAF honored individuals and companies for their support. The following awards were presented:
The Maestro Award for exceptional accomplishments of a community leader was awarded to Bill Randall, founder of the United Performing Arts Fund.
Mrs. Walter H. Stiemke Award for the person who characterizes the same spirit toward the performing arts that Mrs. Stiemke did was awarded to Kris Rappe, senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Wisconsin Energy Corporation.
The Robert W. Baird & Co. Outstanding Achievement in Employee Giving Award went to Froedtert Health for its effort and commitment to the arts and education.
The Jack M. Birchhill Award, created in memory of Birchill's commitment to UPAF went to Branigan Communications.
"Life is better with the arts," said Ziegler. "They inspire and entertain us, educate and motivate our children and enhance economic activity in our local area. We appreciate each and every gift, and want our donors to know that your contributions truly do make a difference. They keep the cultural heart and soul of Milwaukee alive and beating. They inspire creativity and innovation and make our community a dynamic place to live, work and play."