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Local businesses make challenge gift for Local Blugold Scholarship

| Julie Poquette

A local business owner’s appreciation for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s impact on the community has led to a $12,000 gift from his Water Street area businesses in support of a new UW-Eau Claire Foundation scholarship for local students.

Jeremy Kachmar, owner of The Nucleus Café and Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge, said the gift is a challenge grant to encourage other area businesses and individuals to make gifts in support of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation’s Local Blugold Scholarship. The gift challenge will match other donations to the Local Blugold Scholarship, up to $12,000, made by June 30.

“As a recipient of many scholarships, I know how important these awards are to incoming students who need financial support to attend college,” said Kachmar, who received his master’s degree in environmental public health from UW-Eau Claire. “We decided to do a challenge gift in hopes that more people will support the Local Blugold Scholarship and future students of UWEC.”

The Local Blugold Scholarship, a $6,000 award over four years, will be awarded automatically beginning in fall 2017 to qualifying incoming students who graduate from eligible high schools within a 30-mile radius of UW-Eau Claire.

The $12,000 gift from The Nucleus Café and Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge will support Local Blugold Scholarships for two UW-Eau Claire students for four years.

“We’re grateful to The Nucleus Café and Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge for this leadership gift in support of this important scholarship initiative,” said Julia Diggins of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation is seeking support from local businesses and individuals for the scholarship, designed to reward local high-achieving students.

“The Local Blugold Scholarship will encourage talented students in our communities to make UW-Eau Claire their college of choice — and increase the odds they’ll live and work in the area after they graduate, contributing to the vitality of the Chippewa Valley,” Diggins said.

Kachmar, owner of Racy D’Lene’s since 2005 and The Nucleus since 2007, is originally from New Jersey and lived in large cities growing up, including Chicago, Seattle and Dallas. His previous career in manufacturing and sales also took him overseas to Japan and China for a time. However, he enjoyed Eau Claire while living in the community as a graduate student, and when the opportunity arose to move back and fulfill a longtime goal of being in the restaurant business, he took it.

“I was a frequent visitor of the coffee shop when I was a student, and when I had the opportunity to take over the business and start the restaurant, it was something I could not resist,” Kachmar said.

Kachmar said UW-Eau Claire’s positive impact on the community and area businesses was a motivating factor in the decision to support the Local Blugold Scholarship.

“The university is a main focal point of the community,” Kachmar said. “It brings new people to the area all the time, and the students and the university bring a cultural melting pot to the area which is great for the community as well as local business.”

  • More information about the Local Blugold Scholarship is available and donations can be made online at
  • Questions about donating to the Local Blugold Scholarship can be directed to Julia Diggins, UW-Eau Claire Foundation, at 715-836-3273 or

Photo cutline: Jeremy Kachmar, owner of The Nucleus Café and Racy D’Lene’s Coffee Lounge in Eau Claire, has made a $12,000 challenge gift from his businesses to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation in hopes of encouraging other area businesses and individuals to support the Local Blugold Scholarship.