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Gridiron Awards Dinner 2017

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5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel
139 East Kilbourn Avenue Milwaukee WI, 53202

***Registration Closed***
David Fahrenthold Named Milwaukee Press Club’s
2017 Sacred Cat Honoree
Howard Fuller, PhD and Carmen Pitre to be honored as Headliners

MILWAUKEE, WI—The Milwaukee Press Club today announced that David Fahrenthold, reporter for The Washington Post, is the club’s 2017 Sacred Cat Award honoree. The award, which has been given annually since 1973, recognizes excellence in journalism at the national level.

Fahrenthold will accept the award at the club’s annual Gridiron Dinner, Friday May 12th, at the InterContinental Hotel in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Press Club also will honor its 2017 Headliners, Howard Fuller, PhD, civil rights activist, and education reform advocate, and Carmen Pitre, president and chief executive officer of Sojourner Family Peace Center. Winners of the press club’s 2016 Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism competition also will be recognized at the event.

Emcees for the Gridiron will be Kathy Mykleby, co-anchor of WISN Channel 12 News, and Fraser Engerman, director of global media relations for Johnson Controls.

Fahrenthold joined The Washington Post in 2000 after graduating from Harvard University. Since then, he’s reported on everything from homicides to Congress to the 2016 presidential election. After being assigned to cover several of the GOP candidates, all of whom eventually dropped out of the race, Fahrenthold turned his attention to how the Donald J. Trump Foundation was spending its money.

Milwaukee Press Club President LaToya Dennis noted that in an age when the Internet has changed the way journalists work, “Fahrenthold found a way to marry the old and the new.” He used his Twitter followers to help him find answers, made hundreds of phone calls to charities and used pen and paper to track his progress.

“We are honored and thrilled to have David Fahrenthold as our Sacred Cat honoree. He exemplifies what it means to be a ‘watchdog’ despite difficult circumstances. We look forward to having him share some of his experiences with us,” Dennis said.

Past Sacred Cat honorees include Marty Baron, Ann Compton, Jonathan Alter, Cokie Roberts, Walter Cronkite, Malcolm Forbes, Judy Woodruff, Michael Bloomberg and David Maraniss.

The Headliner Awards are presented annually to those who are making a positive difference in Wisconsin.

In 2011, Fuller was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the seven top educators in the world. Fuller’s work began decades ago and over the years, he fought for civil rights and was an early, staunch advocate of voucher schools. Currently, Fuller is Distinguished Professor of Education and Dean of Marquette University’s Institute for the Transformation of Learning. His prior roles include Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools ,Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Employment Relations, Director of the Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services and Dean of General Education at Milwaukee Area Technical College. In 2014, Fuller released a memoir, “No Struggle, No Progress.”

Pitre has spent the majority of her adult life working with and for victims of domestic violence. In 2016, after a decade of planning, Sojourner Family Peace Center opened a new shelter that also houses the Milwaukee Police Department’s Sensitive Crimes Unit, and provides services through partnerships with Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office, Aurora Healthcare Abuse Response Services and others.  It is the largest nonprofit provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services in Wisconsin and is one of the first co-located child advocacy and family violence centers in the country. Pitre has said she grew up in a violent home and knows it’s possible to end the cycle of abuse.  Her hope is that the Sojourner Family Peace Center can help bring an end to domestic violence.

Past Headliner honorees include Ted Kellner, Hannah Rosenthal, Ricardo Diaz, Linda Mellowes, Michael Pink, Barry Alvarez, Jane Pettit, Bud Selig, James Lovell, Ben Marcus and Steve Marcus.

Tickets for the Gridiron Dinner are available by booking below. The cost is $75 per individual, or $580 for a table of eight.  Corporate table sponsorships are available for $830 (includes a table of 8, name on table and company logo on printed program). Click here for more sponsorship or advertising information.

Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. Its members represent a diverse community of media-focused professionals from nearly every local media outlet, and also include a strong contingent of public relations and marketing professionals and others with an interest in journalism and news media.

To view past Sacred Cat Awards, visit:

For past Headliner Award winners, see:

Booking Information for Attendees:
Entree Selections:
(Beef) Burgundy Braised Beef Short Ribs with Rosemary Parsnip Mashed Potatoes, Spring Asparagus, Rainbow Carrots and Pearl Onion Demi-Glace
(Chicken) Lemon Chervil Chicken Breast with Spring Pea Risotto, Roasted Tri-Color Baby Carrots and Romesco Sauce
(Fish) Pan Seared Salmon Filet with Parmesan Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Oregano, Spring Asparagus, Rainbow Carrots, Lemon Chive Cream
(Vegetarian) Artisan Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Rainbow Cherry Tomatoes, Burrata Cheese and Light Champagne Cream
(Please contact us for any special dietary needs.)

Event Sponsors

Defender Sponsor

  • Johnson Controls

Ally Sponsors

  • Kane Communications Group

  • We Energies

Once A Year Advertisers

  • Aurora Health Care, Inc.

  • Children's Wisconsin

  • Marquette University

  • Milwaukee Brewers

  • Milwaukee Business Journal

  • Mueller Communications

  • Roundys/Pick N Save

  • School Choice Wisconsin

  • Strategies for Philanthropy

  • Lowe Group

  • UW-Milwaukee


In-Kind Sponsor

  • InterContinental Hotel Milwaukee

Corporate Members


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