Johnson Financial Group to Match UPAF Ride for the Arts Pledges

Johnson Financial Group Pledge Match 2017


MILWAUKEE, Feb. 27, 2017 – For 35 years, the UPAF Ride for the Arts, sponsored by Miller Lite, has raised more than $9 million to support local performing arts groups. Now raising money for the Ride has just gotten easier thanks again to the support of Johnson Financial Group, who will, for the second year in a row, match the pledges raised by Ride participants up to $25,000 and serve as the “Exclusive Bank Partner for the Ride.” UPAF will celebrate Johnson’s match grant by announcing the Johnson Financial Group Award. The award will be given each year to the individual UPAF Ride for the Arts rider that raises the most money in pledges.


Raising pledges is an important strategy to raise money for the UPAF Ride for the Arts and increase the support for the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. Registration for the 2017 UPAF Ride for the Arts is now open at


“The UPAF Ride for the Arts is a legacy fund-raising event here in Southeastern Wisconsin, and is an important part of the community that we serve,” said Gus Hernandez, president, Johnson Bank, Milwaukee.  “Embedded in our culture is a genuine sense of mission to make our communities better because we live, work and play here. We understand the connection between quality of life and a vibrant performing arts scene, and we are proud to continue supporting this fun, family event and to help raise additional dollars for a worthwhile cause in our community.”


The 2017 UPAF Ride for the Arts will take place Sunday, June, 4, 2016. The event is Wisconsin’s largest one-day recreational bike ride and signals the unofficial start of summer outdoor season to many in Southeastern Wisconsin.


The Ride offers five bike routes that all start and finish at the South Gate of the Summerfest Grounds. The various routes travel past several Milwaukee landmarks and continue along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan through numerous Milwaukee-area communities and parks.


“As UPAF celebrates its 50th Anniversary Campaign, we are so grateful for community partnerships like the one we share with Johnson Financial Group,” said Deanna Tillisch, UPAF’s president and CEO. “Maximizing the Ride’s ability to raise needed dollars is crucial to our mission, and Johnson Financial Group’s sponsorship and generous pledge match for the second year in a row will ensure that this year’s Ride continues to raise needed dollars to support the vibrancy of performing arts in the region.”


Early Bird registration for the Ride runs until April 30. More information on registration is available at


About Johnson Financial Group

Johnson Financial Group is a premier, privately owned financial services company offering comprehensive financial solutions through Johnson Bank, Johnson Insurance and Cleary Gull Advisors. As trusted partners, Johnson Financial Group associates work together to sustain thriving futures for business, individuals and communities. The $4 billion financial services company operates in Wisconsin, Arizona and Minnesota. Principal owners of Johnson Financial Group are members of the Samuel C. Johnson family. Helen Johnson-Leipold is Chairman of Johnson Financial Group in Racine, Wisconsin.  For more information visit, and



About UPAF

The United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) has been setting the stage for 50 years by providing critical investment in our region’s vibrant performing arts scene.  UPAF’s mission is to secure community resources, promote the performing arts as a regional asset and improve the quality of life through responsible investment in and financial support of the performing arts in Southeastern Wisconsin. UPAF is proud to celebrate a half-century of making our community a better place to live, work and play.  In 2016 UPAF’s Annual Campaign raised more than $12 million to support the area’s performing arts environment. UPAF proudly bears Charity Navigator’s highest distinction for nonprofits – a four-star rating – and the highest point ranking of any Milwaukee area non-profit.


As an umbrella organization, UPAF supports a breadth of performing arts groups that collectively offer something for everyone through its 15 Member Groups and numerous Affiliates.  More than one million people are touched each year through performances, educational outreach, special events and community partnerships.

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