GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay businessman Jim Rivett had a passion for his hometown, coming to the aid of anyone who needed help. Now, nearly a year after his death, friends and family have come up with a way to ensure Rivett's compassion lives on.
Jim Rivett (undated WBAY file photo)
Rivett had a way about him, finding joy in helping others, whether it was through his business ventures like ad agency KHROME, or raising a hundred thousand dollars for the Red Cross as Dancing With Our Stars mirrorball champion.
"Anything Jim did, he didn't do it small, he went all in and he got as many people involved as possible," says friend Shawn Kiser.
Following his death by suicide last August, those who loved Rivett wanted to make sure his legacy and giving spirit lived on, and they've created The Canary Fund.
Pete Angilello was Rivett's longtime partner and husband. According to Angilello, "He didn't look away when he saw somebody that needed something, that he tried to find a way that he could give, a way that he could help, so that's where the inspiration of the name came from, and so we're hoping that we can make a difference in Northeast Wisconsin through this fund."
The goal of The Canary Fund is to raise money that will be awarded as seed grants to those in Northeast Wisconsin who want to be game changers, visionaries like Rivett.
"We want people to be able to have their own creativity and also to have their eyes fully opened to what their needs are in their community," adds Angilello.
To accomplish that, and to officially kick the fund off, "A Night of Jimspiration" concert is being held at the Meyer Theater on July 13. The evening will feature musicians who Rivett helped along the way.
Kiser says, "Jim was a huge supporter of the arts, and several of these artists -- Sam Brooker, who went on to have a career in Nashville; Victoria Vox, she plays the ukulele, she's out in Los Angeles now. Both of them have toured. Some names that started locally, Jim got behind them and then their careers really took off."
The artists will spend the evening telling stories about Jim Rivett and playing inspirational music.