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A Million Surprises, A Million Thank Yous: News from Friends of the Woodman's Center

The Friends of the Woodman's Center have some truly heartwarming news to share!

Picture this: you open your mailbox, and out tumbles a surprise - not a small surprise, but a whopping $1 million kind of surprise! That's exactly what's happened to us, courtesy of an extremely generous, anonymous donor.

Now, we're often overwhelmed with gratitude for the backing we get from our community. But to receive such a gift without even a hint of who to thank? It's just breathtakingly beautiful. As Christine Rebout, our ever-so-passionate Co-Chair, puts it: "The beauty of giving without seeking acknowledgment... this gift is overwhelming."

To our secret benefactor, wherever you are, you've poured sunshine over a community need! Thank you!

Our journey at the Friends of the Woodman's Center has been magical this year. We aimed high, hoping to touch the $7M mark, starting with the Together We Can campaign. And look where we are now, standing tall with over $9M! As we march closer toward a Woodman's Center reality, we remain ignited with passion, driven by our beloved community's spirit.

Empowering Our Youth: Janesville's Community Leaders on Building a Brighter Tomorrow

And here's where that golden gift is headed - locker rooms for our talented young athletes at Janesville and Milton high schools. These won't be just any locker rooms. Located at the Mercyhealth Arena, they will stand as a beacon of belonging, welcoming home and visiting teams alike. And guess what? They're going to be top-notch, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities from showers to space personalization. These student-athletes have been patient for a space of their own and they deserve it.

Mark Holzman, Superintendent for the School District of Janesville, shares our joy, emphasizing how essential it is to invest in our youth.

"We are grateful for the donation that will be dedicated to building the locker rooms for our high school hockey team," said Mark Holzman, Superintendent for the School District of Janesville. "We strongly believe that investing in our young people--in this case student-athletes--is economic development that helps make Janesville a great place to live, work, learn, and play."

And Jeff Spiwak, the energetic Athletic Director at Milton High School, aptly summarized the sentiment.

"The generous gift speaks volumes about the support behind the Woodman's Center project and our local young athletes," said Jeff Spiwak, Athletic Director at Milton High School. "We're excited for what's ahead and grateful for a community that champions its youth."

Janesville City Manager Kevin Lahner also chimed in with his excitement, reaffirming our mission to build a facility that supports the people who live here and visit.

"At the heart of this project, we aim to create spaces that meet the needs of the community and create a sense of belonging. Including the varsity team wing is one way we are showing our commitment to local schools and our warm embrace of all athletes and visitors."

Transforming Through Togetherness

So, Janesville and Rock County, let's keep dreaming big and celebrating every Woodman's Center achievement together. The facility is not just a project; it's a testament to what we can accomplish when we come together.

If you wish to join this joyous journey, find out more about us, or extend your support, send us a note at

Until then, here's to many more surprises!

Cheers and gratitude,

Friends of the Woodman's Center


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