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Kristo Orthodontics makes gift to support Wisconsin Youth Success Program

RELEASED: Feb. 4, 2011

Dr. Steve Kristo
Dr. Steve Kristo

EAU CLAIRE —A recent gift of $10,000 from Kristo Orthodontics in Eau Claire has boosted the Wisconsin Youth Success Program, keeping the popular summer youth program alive for a 31st year.

WYSP (formerly the National Youth Sports Program and later the Wisconsin Youth Sports Program) is a free five-week summer camp, hosted by UW-Eau Claire, which has served more than 11,400 Chippewa Valley youth over the past three decades.

"On behalf of the hundreds of area youth who participate in WYSP each year, we express our gratitude to Dr. Steve Kristo for this generous support of our program," said Lisa M. Schuetz, WYSP activity director. "His continued support of the WYSP program and other programs in the community make him a true humanitarian."

Kristo said he chose to support WYSP because it offers area youth opportunities to keep active and learning during the summer — opportunities that otherwise might not be available to the low-income and at-risk children among WYSP's participants.

"I'm happy to help keep a program like this alive," Kristo said. "It's helping area youth stay busy, healthy and happy over the summer."

Kristo added that he would like to see enough community support to keep WYSP operating every year.

"The organization has made a lot of progress in the last year to keep this going and for all the right reasons. The long term viability of this program is the goal and I think great steps have been made in that direction."

Federal funding for the award-winning program was eliminated in 2007, but UW-Eau Claire has continued to offer it through the support of community partnerships and private funding.

The Kristo Orthodontics gift will be supplemented with a new raffle to be held during the Shamrock Shuffle, a 5K fun run/walk slated for March 12; and proceeds raised at the Aldo Leopold conservation banquet March 3. According to Schuetz, an additional fun run/walk is also being planned for the fall to raise funds for WYSP in the hopes of making it a self-sustaining program.

Many of the youth who participate in WYSP are part of underserved populations that may not otherwise have opportunities to attend programs on campus or have other summer-camp experiences, Schuetz said.

Each summer WYSP, run by UW-Eau Claire's University Recreation & Sport Facilities staff, has provided more than 400 area youth ages 10-16 with opportunities to develop leadership, academic and athletic skills. Each day of camp, participants who live in the Eau Claire and Altoona school districts receive free transportation to and from camp, as well as two federally subsidized meals on site.

More information about WYSP and how to make a gift in support of the program is available online or by calling Lisa M. Schuetz, WYSP activity director, at 715-836-2400 or schuetlm@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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