The Madison Club picks mentoring program for black students as next charitable cause

The Madison Club, a private social club that draws its membership from among the city’s most influential residents, is throwing its fundraising weight behind an effort to mentor black male students.

The club’s charitable arm has chosen the group 100 Black Men of Madison as the beneficiary of this year’s fundraising proceeds, most of which come from the club’s annual gala.

100 Black Men will use the award for Project SOAR, which mentors black male students ages 12-17 in the Madison School District. The project is designed to lower truancy rates and raise high school graduation rates. The acronym stands for Student Opportunities, Access and Readiness.

“Madison Club members understand our shared responsibility to our community, and we are honored to use our facility and other resources to raise needed funds,” said Sheryl Theo, president of the Madison Club Foundation.

In 2015, the foundation pledged a multi-year effort to bridge the achievement gap in area schools. Last year, the foundation raised $127,000 for The Simpson Street Free Press, a neighborhood-based nonprofit organization for young people that publishes student newspapers.

With this year’s effort, the foundation’s donations since 2005 are expected to total more than $1 million.

Floyd Rose, president of 100 Black Men, said the money raised this year will be “a huge boost” to the organization, allowing it to expand beyond one-to-one mentoring and into group mentoring.

“We’re really savoring this,” he said. “We want to reach as many kids as possible, and this would allow us to do that.”

100 Black Men of Madison began in 1994 and was incorporated in 1995 as a nonprofit organization composed of members from many professions in the Madison area. It is an affiliate of 100 Black Men of America Inc.

The foundation’s gala on Nov. 5 is open to the public. For more information, visit or contact Mary Gaffney-Ward at 608-217-0963.

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