a Letter from our Board President
I hope 2023 is off to an exceptional start for everyone! I’m excited to share our plans for the year ahead, but first I’d like to take a moment to reflect on where we are now along with some of the obstacles and triumphs encountered along the way. Last year presented us with several hurdles – having to cancel one of our fundraising events, facing higher costs of everything from uniforms to utilities (in tandem with lower than projected donations), and trying to meet our staffing needs, to name a few – all while also dealing with the continuing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the recent challenges and setbacks, there is also a lot to celebrate! In 2022 we saw several students successfully promote to red/high-red belts, with three students on track to become our first-ever black belts in 2023! Additionally, in under two years since the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions in the City of Milwaukee, we’ve been able to rebuild our outreach programming such that this year we will be surpassing pre-COVID levels. We are now actively serving in more than twenty schools in Milwaukee during the 2022/23 school year!
We also successfully launched two new fundraising events in 2022 – the CYMAP Charity Outing at Ironwood Golf Course and our “Breakfast with Santa” event at Wil-o-Way Underwood in Wauwatosa – that we look forward to repeating in 2023! We’re also excited to bring back our “Evening with Friends” gala event, this year being held on Thursday May 11th in the SKYY Lounge at American Family Field. Please plan to join us and enjoy a night of food, fun, and celebration as we continue to pursue Grandmaster Lee’s vision of a city – and a world – made better through martial arts!
Finally, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for everyone involved with making CYMAP such a wonderful organization: our donors and sponsors, staff and volunteers, Board and committee members, and of course our students and families. Without you, none of what we do would be possible, and your efforts are making a huge impact among Milwaukee’s youth! Your continued support is still needed as we set our aims higher:
The generous donations, sponsorships, and other contributions we receive continue to provide essential material support, such as hiring additional high-quality staff to serve more students and purchasing much-needed equipment (boards, uniforms, belts, paddle targets, etc.). Expanded fundraising dollars will also aid our major goal for 2023: acquiring a new, permanent location!
Similarly, the generosity of time given by our dedicated volunteers – whether as a Board or committee members, and/or as instructors – strengthens our organization through extending our outreach programming and enabling us to serve even more students at our in-house classes; making our events more dynamic and successful; and intensifying our efforts to plan future events, activities, and opportunities for continued growth!
Widening awareness of our mission is vital to our success! Talking about us and the work we do among your various circles – professional colleagues, social contacts (including social media), family members, neighborhoods, etc. – opens the door for more financial support, volunteer involvement, and student participation. Please continue to spread the word!
Again, thanks to all for your past and continued giving as we chart our way ahead in 2023. Your support is making a lasting, positive difference in building Milwaukee’s strength, character, and community!
CYMAP Board President
When he’s not volunteering his considerable time and talent as a CYMAP instructor, Mr. Robinson, a third degree black belt, trains extensively, helps on our annual event committee, and is also a spatial epidemiologist specializing in vector-borne diseases.