Jefferson Award winner helps local nonprofits raise millions - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Jefferson Award winner helps local nonprofits raise millions

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MADISON (WKOW) -- There are many ways to make an impact on your community.

This month's Jefferson Award Winner is using his talents to help raise millions of dollars for local nonprofits.

Geoffrey Sandler is at the microphone for about 30 events for different nonprofits every year.

Sandy Henshue with Gilda's Club Madison says, "I don't think I would want to do an event without Geoffrey."

"The generosity is incredible in Madison," says Geoffrey.

And it's that generosity that drew he and his wife back to Madison after he served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 9 years.

"Not only did we move back to Madison, but we moved back to the same neighborhood where we both grew up."

He opened his business, Celebrations Entertainment, in 1997. It's an event services company.

A few years later, he realized it could serve an even greater purpose.

"This was something that I could offer, this is something that I could do. Instead of giving something, I could give myself and my talents and my services."

He started donating his time and equipment to nonprofits.

He sits on their event committees, helps to plan and execute their fundraisers and often serves as the emcee and auctioneer.

Ryan Behling works with Geoffrey for Merrill Lynch's Grand Gala. "He's a partner in development, a partner in idea generation, brainstorming and really success of our events."

Geoffrey offers lighting designs, DJ services, even photo booths that would normally cost thousands of dollars to rent.

"Geoffrey's extremely generous with donating time, materials, his equipment, his staff," says Henshue.

Geoffrey volunteers 40 hours a month and helps to raise about $3 million a year for a number of local nonprofits.

Henshue says, "He helps us raise dollars to support the families in this community that are dealing with cancer."

"This is me," says Geoffrey. "This is my personal way of giving back to this amazing community that's helped me and my business grow to what it is today."

For more information on Geoffrey's business, click here.

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