The $35,000 reward of a three-month MillerCoors Great Cents campaign run in 21 bars across the City of Chicago was reaped by over a dozen LGBTQ advocacy organizations at the MillerCoors Chicago Loop headquarters Oct. 25.
Representatives from Affinity Community Services, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Care for Real, The Center on Halsted, Chicago House, Fred Says, Heartland Health Outreach, Howard Brown Health, Kaleidoscope, The Legacy Project, Test Positive Awareness Network ( TPAN ) and the Youth Empowerment Performance Project ( YEPP ) were each on hand to pick up their checks.
They may have been oversized for the cameras but, no matter the dollar amount written upon them, each check was a representative of direly needed funds with the Illinois state budget impasse bleeding the hearts of many nonprofit advocacy groups dry.
MillerCoors has made a corporate-wide commitment to those working to help LGBTQ individuals that was not only reflected in the Oct. 25 reception, but the $30,000 in matching funds the company raised while responding to victims of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre through their Beers for a Cause event and the additional $50,000 donation MillerCoors added to that total.
"This is our fifth year doing Great Cents," MillerCoors Community Affairs manager Michael Nordman said. "We've given over $150,000 over the five years of the program in Chicago and we're looking into expanding into other cities."
"We work with different retail accounts to identify the nonprofits they want to work with," Nordman added. "We also recognize great organizations that we already partner with. These groups are doing the work on the ground. For MillerCoors having our corporate headquarters here in Chicago, it's important for us to have a local presence and work with groups that are actually improving the lives of LGBTQ people whether direct service organizations or those who are organized on advocacy and rights for a community that we support.