Correspondence: Starfish Foundation, 2437 N Booth St, Milwaukee, WI 53212



The Starfish Foundation was founded in 1998 as the Starfish Center in Madison, Wisconsin with the mission of promoting individual empowerment, wholeness and personal growth in a safe, inclusive community. For approximately five years, the organization offered this programming in Madison. Then multiple circumstances caused the Center to go on hiatus.

Patricia Clason, founder of Taking It Lightly, created the Emotional Liberty Foundation (ELF) in 1990, to provide funding for individuals who wanted to do programs like Taking It Lightly for emotional healing work and who, because of their life circumstances, were unable to afford to do so. ELF was a private foundation through the National Heritage Foundation. When changes in federal law to protect retirement funds affected donor-advised funds, ELF and other NHF foundations were closed.

At that time, the Starfish Center became the Starfish Foundation, a charitable, educational tax-exempt (501(c)(3)) organization committed to raising funds to provide scholarships for emotional healing work. The Foundation continued to grow, adding sponsorship of programs dedicated to emotional healing for veterans.

Every year the number of scholarships and supported programs grows as people who have received scholarships pay it forward by donating time and dollars when they can to pass on the gift they received.

Give a heart a second chance — Today!

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The Starfish Foundation
is a verified charity
with Guidestar.

Starfish Board 
Dianne Young, President
Rachael Johnson, Vice-President
Michelle Hawley, Secretary
Rick Benoit, Treasurer
Dawn Strobel, At-Large member
Tamala Karch, At-Large member
Michelle Frost, At-Large member 

Advisory Board
Leslie Morgan, American Legion Post 18
John Zemler,
Dan Shula, USNavy corpsman, veteran

Veterans Program Committee
Patricia Clason, Co-Chair Veterans Program Committee

The Starfish Story
It was still early.
The mist had not yet cleared from the sea.
In the distance, a solitary figure stood throwing objects out over the water.
Walking along the debris-strewn beach, I looked at the masses of starfish scattered everywhere.
The tide had thrown them in, stranding them on the beach.
As the sun rose higher,
they would perish.
Approaching the stranger, I could see that it was the starfish he was picking up and returning to the sea.
Our eyes met.
"Do you really think you can help?
There are millions of starfish on this beach.
You can help so few.
Does it really make a difference?
Does it matter?"
He reached down and picked up another starfish, looking at it intently.
"Oh yes," he replied.
"It matters to this one!"

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