By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 30, 2020 at 2:03 PM Photography: Summerfest

Summerfest is asking fans to help give back to Milwaukee via its Drive-Up Donation event, to benefit Hunger Task Force and Next Door.

The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 10, from noon to 3 p.m., at the South Gate of Henry Maier Festival Park.

The drive-through donation event is a collaboration with longtime Summerfest sponsors Johnson Controls, the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Klement’s, which will distribute 5,000 Snack Sticks during the event, plus a donation of 2,000 pounds of sausage to Hunger Task Force.

All Big  who donate the minimum items listed here will receive a free ticket to Summerfest 2021, which is scheduled for June 24-26, July 1-3 and July 8-10.

These donations are requested:

  •     Three cans of non-perishable, healthy food items, canned low-sodium vegetables, or fruit in 100 percent juice are appreciated, to benefit Hunger Task Force
  •     New or gently used children’s books with a $10 value, to benefit Next Door

“Summerfest fans have a long history of providing critical donations to our community, and we want to ensure everyone has this opportunity in 2020. The need is even greater this year due to the pandemic, and we invite our fans to stop by and bring non-perishable canned food items, or a book donation, and help make a difference” said President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., Don Smiley, in a statement Wednesday.

Drive up to the South Gate and hand your donation from inside your vehicle to a volunteer, who will provide one Summerfest 2021 ticket, and one (1) Klement’s Snack Stick (while supplies last), per person. Please follow the directional signage and do not leave your vehicle. Social distancing measures and safety precautions will be followed.

“Hunger Task Force is excited to work with our friends at Summerfest for the Summerfest Donation Drive-Up,” said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force, in Wednesday's statement. “This event comes at a crucial time when Wisconsin’s COVID-19 cases are on the rise and many families in Milwaukee are still out of work or in need of food. Be generous, Milwaukee. We’ll see you out in our masks and gloves, ready to accept your donations and look forward to 2021!”

“Having a major donation drive like the Donation Drive-Up is critical to helping us keep our libraries stocked with new and gently-used books for Next Door students and children in the community,” Next Door President Dr. Tracey Sparrow said. “We give these books away throughout the year to help children build their home libraries and develop their literacy skills early on. With the pandemic, we’re in need of more books to maintain our distribution and put a smile on a child’s face with books to call their own!”   

For more information on the Donation Drive-Up event, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.