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Celebrate Badgers™ Making a Difference

We teamed up with UW-Madison® to honor Badger™ fans, students and alumni who are making a difference in the world.

Meet the American Family Insurance Game Day Dreamers

After countless submissions, you narrowed it down to three inspiring finalists. Each finalist received a $3500 contribution in their name to the charity of their choice and special Game Day prize package. Read their inspiring stories below!
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Paul Smith

After discovering that 34-55 percent of adults in the US experience problems reading, and even fewer understand basic health information, Paul Smith has been working to increase both literacy and health literacy. As an active member of Wisconsin Literacy, Inc. since 2004, a non-profit that works with over 75 community-based adult literacy organizations, Paul acts as Medical Advisor on a wide variety of literacy and health literacy projects and has presented to diverse audiences over 200 times. His most recent project involves working with 65 pharmacies across Wisconsin to redesign their medicine labels to promote proper dosage — impacting about 1.8 million prescriptions each year!
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Elijah McCloskey

In the winter of 2003, homeless teen Elijah McCloskey stumbled upon Freewheel Bicycle Co. — then a scrappy group of local activists in an unheated warehouse who helped him build his own bicycle for free. From there, Elijah used that bike to get a job — the job that helped him find housing — and eventually create the stability to apply to UW™ and graduate with a business degree. Since his life-changing free bicycle, Elijah has since become the Executive Director of Freewheel Bicycle Co. which gives away over 12,000 bikes to others in need all over the world, teaches free bike building and repair classes to 6,000 students, and diverts over a thousand tons of waste from the landfill. He’s currently looking forward to launching the Madison Bicycle Resource Center on the Capitol Square in the near future.
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Victoria Matson

Victoria Matson is the founder of A Moment of Magic Foundation at UW-Madison®, which provides medically vulnerable children with creative programming, outlets, and support to foster imagination, friendship, and hope. Her organization’s college-student volunteers dress up as princesses and superheroes and attend individual visits, group visits, and special events with nonprofits and hospitals across the Midwest. Today, A Moment of Magic has reached over 30,000 children nationally, and approximately a thousand children in Wisconsin. When a child is hospitalized, treatments and diagnoses become a priority for parents and doctors, but Victoria’s foundation encourages each child to be brave, strong, and fearless throughout their medical journey — while providing them with opportunities to ‘just be a kid.’

Game Day Dreamer Prize Package

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Feel Like a VIP

  • Recognition as an American Family Insurance Game Day Dreamer which highlights the winner’s efforts and contributions to the community
  • Escorted on-court by Bucky™ during UW™ Men's Basketball game on Mar. 2, 2019 (UW™ vs. Penn State) and honored during the half-time show
  • Meet and greet with an American Family Brand Ambassador or Bucky™
  • $3500 contribution in the winner's name to the charity or cause of their choice*
  • Two tickets to the UW™ Men’s Basketball game on Mar. 2, 2019 with roundtrip airfare for winner and guest
  • Three night hotel accommodation
  • $500 prepaid credit card

Celebrating Badgers™

Elijah McCloskey, Executive Director, Freewheel Bicycle Co.: Last year we gave away 2300 bikes, this year we'll probably give away over 3000

Paul Smith, Health Literacy Activist, Wisconsin Literacy, Inc.: We worked with 55 different pharmacies and help them change to how the label is organized so it's easier for people to read it and understand it

Victoria Matson, Children's Hospital Volunteer, A Moment of Magic Foundation: We go into the hospital dressed as characters and we do bedside visits and we do sing alongs, story readings

Making an Impact

See why we’re proud to be a part of the Badger™ community – and how we’re showcasing the amazing work our fellow Badger™ fans do every day.