About Us

Who we are

Mission: provide “Great Times for Great Causes” supporting non-profit organizations in Ozaukee County. We have a strong emphasis in human services, special needs, and memorial scholarships.

Credibility: Since 1999 over $1,400,000 in grants have been dispersed.

Accountability: 100% of net monies raised at our events are donated back to the community.
Mel’s Charities is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. Federal EIN# 35-2357385

Transparency: All business transactions are properly accounted for and available to the public.

Sustainability: We are committed to sustaining our mission for the long term.

Where we started

Who would have imaged that a simple, kind gesture twenty-one years ago by a group of friends determined to impact one life would grow into a significant force for good across Ozaukee County?

In 1995, Tom “Mel” Stanton assembled a group of about 50 fun loving friends at the Cedars III Bowling Lanes. In 1999, things changed. A good friend and member of the original group lost his sister to cancer. She was a single mother of a daughter with special needs. The group decided to hold a raffle which raised $350 to be donated to Special Olympics in her honor.

From this simple act of kindness, a mission emerged. Why couldn’t like-minded people who know how to have a good time, and who enjoy the company of and assisting those who need a little help combine those two values?

Where we’re going

Today, Mel’s Charities “Great Times for Great Causes” resonates across the county. What began as a once-a-year pig roast, has expanded to include a calendar of events. If it’s fun and impacting lives in Ozaukee County, Mel’s is there. We have stayed true to our slogan, “What We Raise Here, Stays Here” because 100% of the net proceeds raised is going right back into the community.

In 2020, the Board of Mel’s Charities, Inc. provided grants totaling over $206,000 to Ozaukee County organizations serving special needs, human services, and memorial scholarships. What began as a $350 gift in 1999 has exceeded $1.4 million in total grants!

As Mel says, “It’s amazing what can be accomplished by having fun, not taking yourself too seriously, and a huge dose of God’s grace. And we’re just getting started!”

For more about our amazing story click here to see our documentary, “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Story of Mel’s Charities.”



Click here for a breakdown of our 2020 grant distribution

Donell & Becky Lauters. The reason this all started.