All Blog Entries by Samantha Haas

Found 150 blog entries published by Samantha Haas.

Madison consistently ranks among the top cities in the nation to live. For what reasons? And for whom? Those answers vary depending on who you ask.

“As a lifelong Madisonian, I’ve noticed that this is a wonderful community but it's more wonderful for a certain group of people than it is for others,” said the Rev. Dr. Alex Gee, who serves as the lead pastor of Fountain of Life Covenant Church (Fountain of Life), founder and president of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development (Nehemiah), and host of the podcast Black Like Me. He is also the founder and CEO of The Center for Black Excellence and Culture (The Center), a new nonprofit which is in the final stages of its fundraising campaign to create a welcoming and inspirational space for the

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The Mad City Dream Homes team enjoys finding creative ways to support local businesses and nonprofits through client appreciation events and giveaways, articles on our blog, social media, and newsletters, in-kind marketing support, sponsorships, donations, and volunteer efforts. In 2023, we built upon the relationships formed over the years and made some new connections, too. 

As we reflect on another year of investing in the communities we serve, we wanted to highlight some of these organizations doing neat things in the Dane County area – from making memorable chocolates and art to creating safe, brave, and welcoming spaces for local citizens to thrive. 

We are proud members of the Monroe Street Merchants Association and love to frequent many of

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As the seasons change from summer to fall, be sure to catch the leaves turn into their brilliant red, orange, and yellow hues. Check back for updates using the fall color report map at, which estimates that the Madison area will reach peak in late-October. There are several spots throughout Dane County that we recommend for autumn color viewing, but these six stand out for their expansive views of the tree-filled landscape.

Lake View Hill County Park

1202 Northport Dr., Madison: This park is home to the highest point on Madison's north side with gorgeous views of Lake Mendota and downtown. After meandering around the Dane County Human Services building (the former sanatorium) and checking out the newly restored fountain, you can

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Did you know that September is both National Healthy Aging Month and National Fall Prevention Awareness Month? A local nonprofit that we’ve featured in the past, Sharing Active Independent Lives (SAIL), does a tremendous job of educating and empowering older adults as well as equipping them with resources on how to age well, prevent falls, and much more. 

For example, Dr. Alexis Eastman, a faculty member in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology in the Department of Medicine at University of Wisconsin-Madison, often presents a SAILing Into The Future workshop on Aging 101: 10 Things to Know About Aging. Here are a few key takeaways as a clinical geriatrician that she would like people to remember about aging:


"I want everybody to

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We are seeing both change and opportunity at the Mad City Dream Homes team. Ann Raschein has accepted an Executive Director position with the Rockford Family Planning Foundation, a local non-profit organization, and is transitioning out of real estate. Since Ann started her real estate career 9 years ago, she has been involved in community efforts and worked with several non-profit organizations. Now she is following that path.

If you have worked with Ann in the past you know her dedication to her clients. And now those clients and connections have the opportunity to work with other like-minded members of the Mad City Dream Homes team! 

When Ann joined the team more than 3 years ago, she did because she had shared value and vision with the team. So

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We love the ways in which we hear about local nonprofits doing great work in our community. This month’s spotlight is on WayForward Resources, formerly Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), which provides access to nutritious food for people throughout Dane County and support that helps people stay in their homes in Middleton, Cross Plains, and west Madison.

We first learned about this organization last fall from Shelley Lazzareschi’s client Taylor Rozman, who is the organization’s Housing Stability Director. She informed us that MOM (which was established in 1980 by members of local Middleton churches and transitioned to a community-based nonprofit organization in 2007) would be rebranding as WayForward Resources in 2023. We agreed that it would be

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Happy Pride Month! We spoke with GSAFE co-executive director Brian J. to learn more about how the nonprofit creates just schools for LGBTQ+ youth in Wisconsin. 

Brian has been involved with GSAFE since 1998 as a volunteer and joined the staff in 2002, and he wants to build a better place for kids – especially those who don’t conform to gender role expectations and have other marginalized identities – by creating safe and affirming spaces for the next generation. “I want to make sure students don’t have the same experience I had growing up as a closeted queer kid in rural Iowa in the ‘80s who faced bullying, harassment, and isolation,” he said. 

GSAFE helps develop the leadership of LGBTQ+ youth, supports Gender and Sexuality Alliances, trains

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We interviewed Wild Harvest Nature Connection founders Alexander Britzius and Heather Hutchinson to learn more about their programs that involve intentional mentored time for children and adults in the outdoors – specifically at Madison and Dane County parks. 

Dan Miller’s son has participated in activities through the organization, including foraging for “hen of the woods” mushrooms and tapping maple trees to make syrup. “Thanks to the mentoring and teaching provided by Wild Harvest Nature Connection, he's developing a real appreciation and passion for the natural world,” Dan said. 

According to the organization, the foundation of this mentoring is finding each person’s curiosities and passions and asking questions to lead the learning. Heather

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You have probably seen a No Mow May sign in your neighborhood and maybe you have heard some debate over the pros and cons of waiting until late spring to mow. Our intent is not to join in on the debate but to break down some of the options and the theories behind the movement of changing mowing behaviors and providing a better habitat for bees. says that No Mow May is a gateway to understanding how we share our lawns with small creatures. Spring is a crucial time for emerging native bees. When we allow lawns to grow longer and let flowers bloom our lawn can provide nectar and pollen for bees to thrive! 

Here are 3 options to consider:

  • No Mow: Don’t mow for the month of May.  

  • Low Mow: Mow twice a month instead of

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In honor of Earth Month, we’re highlighting a nonprofit that is making a big difference each day on a local level for the health of our planet. Sustain Dane’s mission is to inspire, connect, and support people to accelerate equity and sustainable actions for community wellbeing. Sustain Dane was founded in 1999 by a group of Madison residents and received nonprofit status in 2003. Its vision is a thriving and inclusive community with a sustainable environment and economy we are proud to pass on to future generations. 

Among the many programs that the organization offers, the Sustain Dane Summit is not to be missed. Mark your calendars for November 3rd at Monona Terrace for a full day of workshops, speakers, panels, awards, networking, and Dane County

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