The Noel Group, a family of worldwide companies headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, was founded by John and Patty Noel. Compass Properties—which includes CityCenter735—is one of those companies. John and Patty are noted philanthropists with a global reach whose humanitarian efforts have been widely recognized.
For example, they co-founded the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County and are major benefactors of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). John and Patty received honorary Doctorate degrees for their philanthropy work from UWSP, their alma mater, and made a substantial gift for the renovation of the Noel Fine Arts Center.
Make A Mark Foundation, now known as the Noel Family Foundation, was created by the Noels in 1993. Its mission is to leave a legacy for future generations within the local and global community by establishing, promoting, and supporting programs that help children, encourage diversity in all areas of life, nurture integrity of living, and provide assistance to displaced persons.
As a result of the devastating AIDS pandemic, millions of orphans and vulnerable children are being left to fend for themselves. The Noel Family Foundation is working with a coalition of partners to support lasting and sustainable business solutions to the ongoing orphan crisis. One such solution is the Trees 4 Children project in Africa. Its focus is the Melia volkensii tree. According to the Kenya Forestry Research Institute, it’s a multipurpose, fast growing tree species that produces high value timber in the dryland areas of Kenya.
Through Trees 4 Children, Melia volkensii trees have been planted on over 600 acres of land in Nyumbani Village in Kitui, Kenya. The trees are then processed and sold for lumber, generating revenues to help the village attain financial self-sustainability for generations. The project has already produced many benefits for villagers, including new jobs, ability to grow food crops between trees, new fuel from pruning the trees, and fodder for feeding livestock. “Trees 4 Children does not simply throw money at a problem and walk away. We’re investing in self-sustainable futures for these kids,” says John.
In yet another example of their giving, the Noel Family Foundation established two limited liability companies—Giving Gratitude and Giving Gratitude II—to purchase homes in the Stevens Point area. Those homes are then rented at below market rates to refugees who are displaced from their homelands due to war, violence, and natural disasters. This work is done in collaboration with local church, community, and government organizations.
In 1996, the Noels established the Noel Compass Scholarship Program to provide full UWSP scholarships and work experience to high school minority students. The mission of the program is to be an ambassador of diversity while motivating and encouraging others by demonstrating leadership and open-mindedness.
John and Patty have generously donated to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, starting with computers for its family lounges and then providing support for the Children’s Research Institute, Herma Heart Center, and Children’s Health Education Center. John and Patty also established The Noel Family Healing Garden at the hospital and John was an active member of the Children’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.
In recognition of their philanthropic endeavors, the Noels were awarded the Franklin Covey Humanitarian Service Award, the Stevens Point Area Public School District Community Service Recognition Award, and the William C. Hansen Distinguished Service Award.
Tourism Cares bestowed the Noels with its inaugural Personal Philanthropic Leadership Award to “celebrate and share the accomplishments of those travel companies and individuals who are as successful in their community care and stewardship as they are in business.”
In 2009 John was awarded the prestigious “President’s Volunteer Service Award” for his volunteer work associated with the Boys & Girls Club of Portage County. This award is issued on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in American spirit, and to encourage all Americans to improve their communities through volunteer service and civic participation.
Philanthropy means “love of humanity” and involves lasting social changes. In every way, John and Patty Noel express their understanding of the word. Their spirit of goodwill and desire to promote the welfare of others is inspiring. Here at CityCenter735, we share their passion for making a difference in the Wisconsin communities where we live, work, and play.