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SPJ Madison’s holiday party raises $1,700 for journalism fund

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

MADISON -- SPJ Madison’s 2020 holiday party -- an online trivia night -- raised $1,700 from more than 100 participants and donors for the Breann Schossow Memorial fund at UW-Eau Claire to support Ann Devroy fellows participating in a summer internship.

The fund is in honor of former-SPJ Madison president Breann Schossow, who died of cancer in October at age 31. Schossow was an Ann Devroy fellow herself while attending UW-Eau Claire, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 2012, and the fund will help young journalists in the program secure valuable internship opportunities while in college.

“We at SPJ Madison are so grateful for the support of our community as we raised funds in our friend’s name,” SPJ Madison President Shelley K. Mesch said. “This is the most we’ve raised in recent memory, and it is a testament to Breann’s legacy as a journalist and friend to so many in Madison.”

While in Madison, Breann worked at WPR as a producer for The Ideas Network. She left the job in 2019 to move back to her home state of Minnesota to be closer to her family. Earlier last year, she took a position as an associate producer at Minnesota Public Radio. She was also a driving force behind many SPJ Madison initiatives, particularly networking events that connect students with local professional journalists.

About 120 people registered for the online trivia night, which took the place of the annual raffle and potluck.

Funds from past SPJ Madison holiday parties have gone toward programs including our scholarship in honor of former Cap Times reporter Pat Schneider last year, UW-Madison student newspapers The Badger Herald and Daily Cardinal, and Simpson Street Free Press.

In other chapter news:

“Journalism matters” face masks -- SPJ Madison will be selling face masks printed with the words: “Journalism matters.” Proceeds will go toward SPJ Madison initiatives and programming. For more information, contact president Shelley K. Mesch at skmesch@gmail.com.

Recruiting -- SPJ Madison is always looking for more journalists who care about the profession to join our board. Contact president skmesch@gmail.com to learn more about the work of SPJ Madison and how you can get involved.

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