Aspiro announces fundraising success, orders new buses
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Aspiro had a major announcement Monday morning. The organization said it’s raised enough money to replace several buses that were destroyed in a fire four weeks ago. Those buses help over 200 people who have disabilities get to their jobs.
“We are excited to announce that we have raised over $484,000 to fully replace our bus fleet,” Vice President of Development Nicole Hoffmann said. It’s enough to replace four buses.
Images of the burned metal skeletons struck the community after the mysterious fire in Aspiro’s parking lot gutted the organization’s buses that were meant to transport clients of Aspiro to jobs in the community. The cost of replacing them was estimated at a half-million dollars.
Aspiro credits an amazing response from the community to raise money with the support of businesses, including PMI Entertainment and Lamar Advertising; foundations; and people in the community. A GoFundMe page for Aspiro raised $125,000 towards its $500,000 goal in 26 days.
Lamar Advertising was credited with the idea of having local media outlets join forces to get the word out. “Most of Green Bay’s local media responded to the call to work together and utilize the strength of the group to help Aspiro. The cooperation allowed this collaboration to come together quickly, and to my knowledge, this is the first time something like this has happened in Green Bay,” Don Snyder, GM of Lamar Advertising, said.
Aspiro says two minibuses have already been ordered. Once those are delivered, two more buses will be ordered. The buses
Since the fire, New Hope Center in Chilton loaned a minibus to Aspiro, and Oneida Transit helped out as well, offering shuttle services.
“Every single day we had messages and calls and donors calling and our families calling and offering messages of support. We were overwhelmed with how much our community came together to help us rebuild and get back on our feet,” Hoffmann.
Hoffmann said Aspiro hasn’t received the state fire marshal’s report on the cause of February’s fire.
Aspiro’s buses were previously damaged by catalytic converter thieves. Hoffmann said anti-theft cages have already been ordered and will be installed over the catalytic converters when the new buses arrive.
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