At the annual Das Oktoberfest block party, friends and families converse over brats, hot dogs, and drinks with the peace of mind that proceeds benefit Hunger Task Force. Festival-goers gather in the Mader's parking lot at 11 a.m. for the kid-friendly, pet-friendly Brat Trot, where competitors don complimentary Oktoberfest hats before beginning the race. Trot participants then ring in the festival with a grueling 1.5-block walk, run, or ride on a giant Slinky to Pere Marquette Park. Each attendee makes the trek with a complimentary 12-ounce Oktoberfest beer or soda in one hand, accompanying a free Usinger brat or hot dog in the other. Once at the park, participants partake in a communal jubilee. Prior to the race, athletes can also compete for prizes in a contest for best costumed individual and team, or duke it out in a pig Latin spelling bee.
Two young participants of the PAL program pair off with a shelter dog, which they train to become a well-mannered member of an adoptive family. During training, children are empowered with the responsibility of caring for the animals, learning to respect them and better understand their behavior. Children can then teach their peers about the need to prevent animal guardians from practicing cruelty and neglect. WHS requires additional funding to purchase supplies for dog training, as well as transportation and snacks for PAL participants.
Journey House’s 2010 basketball program engaged 67 students who ranged in age from 13 to 18 years old, and the organization's five middle- and high-school teams competed in both spring and summer leagues. Athletes are required to adhere to a curriculum designed by coaches that imparts positive skills and values such as goal setting, sportsmanship, and individual responsibility. Players must prioritize academics above athletics, and are required to participate in Journey House's scholastic programs, such as Reading Scholars and Math Academy. Journey House would like to outfit its basketball players with new uniforms to help instill a sense of teamwork and pride in its student athletes and present a unified front during competitions.
The Milwaukee Debate League trains students for rigorous academic debate to help them strengthen their mental faculties and improve their self-esteem. Completing research in preparation for debates informs them about the world, and engaging in debates with their peers builds communication skills that translate to future careers. The centerpiece of the program, seven citywide debate tournaments, pits students against other teams to debate a specific policy topic and share their ideas about social issues. The Milwaukee Debate League also hosts other opportunities for students to learn research and articulation skills, including a summer institute, a leadership council, and the MDL Scholars Program, which engages high-school students in high-level research at Marquette University. Following a period of declining participation, the Milwaukee Debate League relaunched in 2011 and now works with 14 high schools in the area.