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Fundraiser raises over $300K for Vel Phillips statue at state Capitol grounds

Vel Phillips
Posted at 7:50 PM, Apr 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 21:19:03-04

The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County has surpassed its fundraising goal to build a statue of Milwaukee civil rights leader Vel Phillips.

Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson wrote in a social media post that a donation from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Board put the total amount raised to about $305,000 Tuesday evening. That's of a goal of $275,000.

The project aims to build a bronze statue of Vel Phillips on the grounds of the state Capitol building.

The remaining funds not used for that project will be used to create an endowment fund to support educational opportunities for youth in Wisconsin, according to the fundraiser's website.

"In the event, the State of Wisconsin does not approve our proposal, the Club will set up an endowment in Vel’s name to be used to help children across Wisconsin," the website states.

Phillips passed away in 2018 at the age of 94. Phillips was the first Black woman to graduate from UW-Madison's Law School in 1951. She was also the first African American and the first woman elected to Milwaukee’s Common Council in 1956 and Secretary of State of Wisconsin from 1978 to 1982.

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