Credit Union Fills Lead Sponsor Role for Second Year at Mile 8

Published Thursday, February 20, 2020

Willems Marketing & Events, Inc., producer of Mile of Music, has announced that long-time Festival partner Fox Communities Credit Union will continue for a second year as the event’s presenting sponsor.

Thanks in great part to this substantial support, Mile of Music will return July 30-August 2, 2020, for its eighth installment – also referred to as Mile 8 – with four days’ worth of free performances featuring live, original music from approximately 225 local and national touring artists at dozens of venues in Downtown Appleton.

Fox Communities was one of the first organizations to lend its support in the Spring of 2013 when the Festival was originally taking shape, and it has continued to increase its backing, signing on as Mile of Music’s presenting partner in 2019 for Mile 7.


The credit union was a collaborator leading up to Mile 1, and as Dave Willems, President of Willems Marketing and Executive Producer of Mile of Music, explains, the support has increased each year since in the form of encouragement, guidance and funding.

“Ever since our first meeting with the leadership team in 2013 when The Mile was just a vision, Fox Communities has shown nothing but support for the good vibes this Festival can bring to our community,” Willems explained. “That community-focused mindset to help make Mile of Music a reality and keep it thriving for the last eight years is a neat example of the organization’s ongoing commitment to bettering our community.”

Cathy Harvath, Vice President of Marketing for Fox Communities Credit Union, says her team looks forward to playing such a key role in making Mile of Music happen again. She explained, “There is so much support poured into this Festival each year – from the artists, business communities and non-profits making it such a huge success. Fox Communities is proud to help lead this collaborative effort in bringing such a special music-focused event to Appleton and delivering the best experience possible to everyone involved.” Fox Communities’ collaboration with Mile of Music also includes the popular Bike to the Beat event. Held in conjunction with the Festival since 2016, this community bike ride will make its much-anticipated return with “Track 5” on Saturday, August 1. Harvath added, “It’s really a fun-filled weekend for everyone!”

The Fox Communities-hosted Bike to the Beat event will include live music stops on the 6- to 50-mile course with more than a dozen Mile 8 artists appearing, and all proceeds raised through registration donated to local non-profits. Last summer, Bike to the Beat raised more than $56,000 with 3,600-plus riders representing people from 18 states, five countries and all ages and abilities.

Willems credits Mile of Music’s successful track record and ability to remain operating as a free event to its network of 50-plus sponsors who help underwrite costs and provide seed money as well as the 60-plus Downtown small business host venues, the hundreds of individual Music-Makers, the 400-plus volunteers, the dozens of community organizations and municipal departments and the thousands of musicians who have shared their talents on stage.

The Mile of Music Team is currently filling the lineup of artists and sponsors for the four-day celebration of original music this summer. The first big reveal of initial artists and more details about the Festival will come on Thursday, April 16, at the annual “First Fifty” lineup event.

ABOUT MILE OF MUSIC Mile of Music is an annual roots music festival dedicated exclusively to original music and artists that launched in August 2013 as a creative and economic catalyst in Downtown Appleton, Wis. The four-day festival, produced by Willems Marketing & Events, is held at the beginning of August with the support of more than 60 Downtown venues, 50 community sponsors, 400 volunteers and numerous collaborators. It features more than 900 live music sets and 225 artists at venues along the one-mile, walkable stretch of College Avenue and the nearby riverfront.


ABOUT FOX COMMUNITIES CREDIT UNION Fox Communities Credit Union opened their first location in 1937. Starting out as Combined Locks Credit Union, serving employees of Locks Mill, the credit union grew to $1 million in asset size by 1974. In the 80’s, the Credit Union expanded to serve all the residents of the area, becoming Fox Communities Credit Union in 1987. Fox Communities Credit Union is now 82 years strong, serves over 104,000 members, manages $1.8 billion in assets, and employs over 430 dedicated team members who support 22 branch locations. As a member owned financial institution, Fox prioritizes people over profits. Fox has and will continue its commitment to remain a vital part of the communities we serve, through our support and involvement.