Michael F Simon Builders is honored by its longevity and respected reputation in the community and therefore has found ways throughout its existence to give back to the community for many years.
Organizations and Programs
Over the years Michael F. Simon Builders has had a special connection to the Waunakee Fire Department, by having several of its carpenters serve as volunteer firefighters; most notably Peter Simon who was a long-time volunteer firefighter until his death in 2015.
Additionally, Simon Builders has been instrumental in helping the Waunakee Fire Department acquire specialized equipment over the years. When thermal imaging was first introduced to the fire service in 1997, Simon Builders was part of a small group of businesses to raise funds to provide the department with two Cairns Iris Helmets. The helmets used state-of-the-art thermal imaging technology for fire service at the time, and were two of only nine helmets of its kind in the entire state of Wisconsin.
In 2018, Simon Builder’s 125th Anniversary, we provided funding to the Waunakee Fire District to purchase a Rapid Intervention Team PAK (RIT PAK) Assembly. The RIT PAK is a bag that includes a face piece, breathing air cylinder, and hoses/regulator that a firefighter needs to continue breathing during the retrieval of a fallen comrade.
Every firefighter is required to wear a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (called a SCBA or air pack), which allows a firefighter to breathe in a smoke-filled or hazardous environment. The RIT PAK can be connected to the firefighter’s SCBA to extend an injured firefighter’s air supply. The special features of the RIT PAK are a skid plate for ease of dragging a downed firefighter, external pressure gauge, audible alarm, and universal capable low-pressure hose. This is an essential piece of safety equipment that is used to protect or save a firefighter.
We at Simon Builders have a long-standing connection to the Castle Creek Conservancy. While developing the Castle Creek Development, which is to the east and south of the current high school and middle school locations, there was a piece of land that was so beautiful that it was decided that instead of using the site for a few homes or to be developed into sporting fields like traditional parks, it should be left natural for the enjoyment of the entire community. In 1985, we donated this land for the Castle Creek Conservancy which has Six Mile Creek meandering through it. It is one of many parks in the Village of Waunakee, but the first true conservancy. The park was created to be left in its natural state to provide a habitat for a variety of native plants and animals. This was unusual at the time, and therefore, it was deeded that it always be maintained as a conservancy.
To enhance the enjoyment of the land, additional funding was provided by a super raffle that was sponsored by many Waunakee area clubs, such as the Lions, Jaycees, Optimists, Rotary, and the American Legion. With the introduction of this first conservancy, the Village Parks Committee formed the Conservancy Park Committee to develop and maintain this park, as well as foster the additional parks that have been developed in the years since. Phil Simon was one of the original founding members of this newly formed committee. The original Master Plan for the Castle Creek Conservancy was proposed in February 1989, and the park is still being used as it was intended for educational and passive recreational uses, such as hiking and wildlife observation.
Michael F. Simon Builders proudly sponsors the annual Candlelight Hike in Castle Creek Conservancy, which occurs every February. The trails are open for hiking and snowshoeing along the beautifully lit trail, and participants are invited to warm up at a roaring fire to enjoy roasted marshmallows and a cup of hot chocolate.
During 2018 Michael F. Simon Builders employees had a service day to pack and distribute 125 backpacks that were given to the Waunakee Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s office.
Due to the nature of their work, these police officers are regularly tasked with assisting victims through extremely difficult situations. Often times, those victims include children. The REACH-A-Child initiative provides a valuable tool to help children during times of crisis. Providing a book and a backpack to a child in crisis diverts their attention from the tragic situation and allows the officer to comfort them.
Beginning in April 2018, we at Simon Builders wanted to make the gateway to our community clean and beautiful. We have partnered with the WisDOT initiative “Adopt A Highway” to help reduce litter and enhance the environment along our roadside entering Waunakee from the East. Specifically, we have adopted the stretch of Hwy 19 from Walter Rd past the Dane County Law Enforcement Training Center to Hwy I.
The Simon Builders team cleans our one-mile stretch of road three times each year, removing discarded trash items to their proper disposal sites. We do this to provide a pleasant environment for all in our community.
Do you want to make the community you live a better place? We do! Since we have been building the community all these years, why not also help to clean it up? If you would like to join us in any of our cleanups, send a note to Builder@SimonBuilds.com and we can let you know when the next opportunity will be. Thank you for your continued support, together we can make a positive impact in our community.
In May 2018, the Simon Builders team joined forces with the Hammer with a Heart organization for a build day to help a Waunakee resident with repairs to her home. She was a deserving candidate who applied for and fit the criteria of eligibility established by Hammer with a Heart. She actually lived in a home that Simon Builders had constructed back in 1948, so we were thrilled to be involved with repairs to give the home a longer life.
In addition to our skilled carpenters and staff, we were able to have many of our Trade Partners (who we are privileged to work with every day) provide several small and a few large repairs inside and outside of her home. The updates improved the health, safety, and quality of her life as it added to the neighborhood as a whole. Those repairs and the partnership the Hammer with a Heart program are a part of our long-term investment in the community of Waunakee.
A group from Simon Builders provided a day of building for a worthwhile community project with the Habit for Humanity organization during our 125th anniversary celebration year. Habitat has long been a supported organization for the Simon Builder Family, which includes our employees and our wonderful clients.
It is not unusual for a donation of cabinetry, appliances, or other building materials to be made to the Habitat ReStore on behalf of a remodeling client. This keeps the gently used products out of the landfill and provides funding to the construction of new homes for neighbors in Dane County. Phil Simon has participated in National Build Days during his tenure as president of Madison Builders Associations and the National Association of Home Builders. Paul Simon has been a member of Habitat Young Professionals participating in multiple build days and volunteering at the ReStore. Other employees in the company have provided their talents in several areas of needs in years past as well, and we look forward to continued support of this wonderful organization.
Michael F. Simon Builders has had a long history of service to the Waunakee Food Pantry since we built the shelves in the first pantry in St John’s School. When the Pantry outgrew that location, we once again volunteered by purchasing and setting up their new location in the lower level of the Church on Woodland Drive.
During our 125th anniversary collection drive in 2018, we collected, sorted, and stocked shelves with 1,500 pounds of food and personal care items, a record collection by an individual organization! This can be thought of as feeding 4,500 people!!! Only the Boy Scouts and the Postal Carriers Annual Food Drives have collected more food. For that food drive, we also challenged our Trade Partners to see who could collect the most food and personal care items. We received donations from the employees of the following businesses: Hellenbrand Glass, Rockweiler Insulation, Hottmann Construction, Furniture & Appliance Mart, United Brick & Block, and Dave Jones Inc.
That year we also received a very generous cash donation of $500 from past clients that was presented to the Food Pantry for their use as needed, along with our company’s donation of $3,000 to be used to pay the rent for a portion of 2018. In the years since, we have been able to do food drives and cash donation collection from our employees and Trade Partners to continue providing support to this worthwhile community support organization. We are grateful to have the support and help of so many that allows this great work to be done. Incredible things can be accomplished through the hands of many.
In 2016, Michael F. Simon Builders worked with Suttle Straus to make 200 “We Support our Waunakee Police” yard signs for Waunakee’s National Night Out event. These signs were given out in trade for a donation that was used by the Waunakee Police Department K9 fund to help in obtaining a new canine officer.
The Waunakee community overwhelmingly jumped on board with its positive support of local law enforcement and with the desire to be a part of the canine officer funding. When we reached out to different groups in the area for ideas on how to give back to the community to celebrate our 125th anniversary, this was highly requested to be done again.
During the National Night Out annual event in August, Simon Builders attended and made the doubled-sided yard signs available by donation to support not only the maintenance of the K9 program, but to provide funds used by the Waunakee Police Department for their popular Coffee with a Cop and Read with a Cop programs as well.
Wauktoberfest is a 3-day celebration of Waunakee’s German heritage which serves as a fundraiser whose proceeds are donated to several local charities including the Waunakee Community Foundation, Waunakee Rotary Club, Waunakee Lions Club, and the Knights of Columbus Council 6371. Over the three days of the event there are: activities; contests, including Hammerschlagen, presented annually by Simon Builders; music; and food tents.
During our 2018 anniversary celebration, we sponsored a new Home Brew contest and awarded the winning contestant an all-expenses paid trip to the 2019 Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, Germany.
We encourage everyone to attend and join Michael F. Simon Builders by participating, tasting, and having fun at this wonderful community event.
The Waunakee Scholarship Fund was created in 1966 and has since awarded over $1.1 million in scholarships to over 5,500 students. This has been possible only through of the generosity of the community.
Building on this amazing program, Michael F. Simon Builders established a renewable scholarship for the purpose of helping a graduating Waunakee High School student who plans to pursue higher education in a construction trades career. Simon Builders has a history of top-notch, quality construction and is looking forward to fostering the education and the future development of exceptional residential craftsmen and craftswomen.
A $500 scholarship will be awarded to a student that can be renewed annually throughout that student’s college career if the student maintains a strong GPA, attends school full-time, and is of strong character and appropriate, ethical behavior.
The Simon Builders team, along with Waunakee’s High School Scholarship Committee and recipients of past scholarships, would like to thank everyone in our great community for the continued support of this scholarship program.
The Simon family has been involved with the library in Waunakee since the beginning. The idea of a library was conceived by the local Women’s Group in the early days of the village. It was decided after having the books moved from host family to host family for a number of years that a more permanent arrangement needed to be made. The first ‘official’ library was a bookcase that was housed in the hat shop owned by Katherine Simon (Mrs. Mike Simon), which was located on Main Street near Fish Street in the village.
During our 125th anniversary celebration, Michael F. Simon Builders committed to building and installing a beautiful live edge table to be used in the Community Meeting Room of the new Waunakee Library, which was constructed on Madison Street in the village. We are thrilled to have provided a custom-made, legacy piece of furniture to enhance the beauty of the library and carry on the tradition of the craftsmen who came before us.
It is our desire to expand on the legacy of community sharing established by the Simon Family those many years ago, and to carry on the goals of the library by providing access to all members of the community.
The Simon Family was instrumental in helping to create the Waunakee Community Foundation in 2004, and it has been growing ever since. We are so proud to continually support this worthwhile foundation since 100% of the proceeds are donated to various projects throughout the community. Recent grant recipients include: Waunakee Police K9; Friends of Schumacher Farm; Waunakee Neighborhood Connection; Waunakee Community Band; Waunakee Intermediate School Phy. Ed. Department; Waunakee Imagination Celebration; Waunakee Food Pantry; Waunakee Village Park Pond Aeration System; and the Waunakee Library Forever Fund.
In 2013, we provided design assistance on a permanent home for the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection (WNC). Prior to this, the organization was spread out over several rental spaces. Once the new single location was found and secured, we were tasked with turning a former medical clinic into a viable working space for all of activities and programs that make up the WNC.
We worked with staff, the building committee, and many of the volunteers to help establish a layout that could work at that time and be flexible enough for future uses. It needed to be a building that not only meets the needs of those who visit, but also for those who make donations or put in the countless hours of work needed to allow the organization to achieve all that it does. WNC impacts the lives of the community “one story at a time,” making it an organization that fits our charitable-giving ideals.
Want to help us make a difference?
Contact Michael F. Simon today to learn how you can get involved.