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Combining creative international cuisine and a good cause is the successful recipe for the Corks and Forks fundraiser held annually at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, a UW Oshkosh campus.

In its seventh year, Corks and Forks raised $34,000 for student scholarships and the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation. This is the single largest fundraising event on the campus.

Bright, tropical colors filled the University Center Commons as more than 200 guests enjoyed a Polynesian buffet during this year’s event on March 28. Dressed in their best island attire, those attending enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, live music and Polynesian cuisine served with selected wines complementing the food.

Many area businesses, organizations and alumni supported the event through table and event sponsorship, donations to auction packages, cash donations or gift-in-kind support.

Society Insurance was the lead sponsor. Additional support came from Agnesian Healthcare, a member of SSM Health; C.D. Smith Construction Inc.,  J. F. Ahern Co., Fox Valley Savings Bank, Grande Cheese, Michels Corporation and Stuart’s Landscaping and Garden Center. A media sponsorship was provided by USA Today Network.

“This event raises money to support those who need the additional financial resources in order to attend college, and supporting local students through scholarships is the ongoing priority of the Foundation,” said UW-Fond du Lac Foundation Board President Jerry Donohue.

UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said he knows first-hand the impact scholarships have on the ability of a student to be successful in college.

“We are here tonight to reaffirm a promise we have all made to the students of UW-Fond du Lac, by supporting their efforts to receive the highest quality education and become productive leaders in society,” he said.

During the event Bob and Crystal Carew, former part-owners of Action Advertiser/Action Printing in Fond du Lac, were announced as recipients of the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation’s 2019 Spirit of Excellence Award. They will be recognized at the Foundation’s annual scholarship and donor reception in September. This award honors individuals who have made an exceptional commitment in support of UW-Fond du Lac and the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation. The Carews established the Robert and Crystal Carew Endowed Scholarship Fund to provide ongoing support of students.

Both Crystal and Bob are 1979 UW Oshkosh graduates, with Bob starting his college studies on the UW-Fond du Lac campus. He was recognized with the 2007 UW-Fond du Lac Distinguished Alumni Award and has served on the UW-Fond du Lac Foundation Board of Directors.

The UW-Fond du Lac Foundation is already planning for the next Corks and Forks fundraiser on March 26, 2020.