5 donors pledge $500,000 in matching grants to Overture

March 15, 2017 GMT

Exact Sciences Corp., Judith and Nick Topitzes, Sandy and Jun Lee and two anonymous couples have pledged $100,000 each as matching gifts for a 2017 fundraising campaign announced Monday by the Overture Center for the Arts.

Overture will run a “Local Legends Match” campaign through June 15 to match the gifts, which support free and low-cost programs offered at the performing arts center.

Matching gifts must be made by individuals or businesses to the Overture Annual Fund or in support of a community program. Performance or program sponsorships are not counted in the match.

Madison-based Exact Sciences, developer of the noninvasive colorectal cancer screening test Cologuard, is a longtime supporter of the Overture Center’s “National Geographic Live!” series. Nick Topitzes is founder and former owner of pc/nametag, a developer of many products used by the meeting planner industry. Jun Lee is president of the engineering firm SRI Design Inc. and a singer; his wife, fellow UW-Madison alum and artist Sandy Lee, is a longtime supporter of Overture’s OnStage student field trip program.

Two couples who asked not to be named gave their gifts in honor of Glenda Noel-Ney, Overture’s vice president of advancement, and Tim Sauers, vice-president of programming and community engagement. Noel-Ney and Sauers were cited by the donors for “their dedication to the arts throughout their careers, and their tremendous influence on making Overture this wonderful place to be introduced to, experience and enjoy the arts.”

Past “local legend” donors of $100,000 or more include Jim and Sue Bakke, Diane Ballweg, Jim Imhoff and Kitty Kuhl, Jonathan and Susan Lipp, and Tom and Peggie Pyle in 2016; Ron and Deborah Krantz and an anonymous donor in honor of Ted and Gail DeDee in 2015; Joe and Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner and Bea and Lau Christensen in 2014; and the MG&E Foundation, Kelly Family Foundation and Dianne Christensen in 2013.

The 2017 pledges were announced Monday by Ted DeDee, president and CEO of Overture, and the Overture Center Foundation board of directors.