How Generous Is Wisconsin?

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Outstanding philanthropists tend to give simply in an effort to help others. The Cable family is no exception. When they found out they'd be honored as this year's Outstanding Philanthropists of the Chippewa Valley, their first reaction was surprise.

"We've known about the award for some years and we've been a part of this dinner, but we also realize that there's a lot of people in the valley that are very much deserving of this," said Dick Cable.

The Cable’s generosity has been evident over the years. Dick had a hand in building the Kohl Center in Madison as well as donating to the local YMCA, UW-Eau Claire and the United Way.

"I think we enjoy the quality of life that we do in the Chippewa Valley because of the efforts of so many people," said Melinda Haun of the Chippewa County United Way.

A recent study by the Catalogue for Philanthropy suggests otherwise. Generosity index is their measure of what states have versus what they give, and their research ended up ranking Wisconsin 46th in the nation.

United Way officials say that isn't an airtight method of measuring generosity because generosity isn't dictated by income.

"I think we would all agree that the giving in each of our local United Ways in Eau Claire, Dunn County and Chippewa County both in per capita giving and average giving is higher than in a lot of other parts of the country," Haun said.

Whether we as Wisconsinites are truly generous, stingy, or somewhere in between, the Cable’s think giving can only be fulfilling for those who hold values that parallel theirs.

"We've grown up here we've had the chance to be rewarded and blessed greatly, so we feel it's a part of our life to share this with other people."

Including their children, who now continue the family tradition.