Wilder Donors Bond Through Family and Shared Commitment to Give Back
Dave and Sherla Mayer met Ron Bongard when their adult son, Pete, started dating Ron’s daughter, Becky. Later, the two families found a new common interest: Supporting Wilder’s work with children, family and older adults in the community.
Dave and Sherla have supported the Saint Paul community for most of their lives. Dave worked at Wilder for more than 30 years, and Sherla was a juvenile probation officer. As Wilder donors for more than 25 years, Dave and Sherla are inspired by how the Child Development Center prepares young children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.
Ron Bongard’s passion for giving stems back to his youth. His family lived in public housing and received welfare support. Ron says that as an adult, he has been blessed in many ways, including financial security.
He enjoys giving back and knowing the difference it makes for families like his own. The two families found connection in their shared values when Ron joined the Mayers at Ordinary Magic, Wilder’s signature fundraising event. Ron was impressed as he
got to know Wilder, and he especially appreciates that Wilder programs help families cope in difficult times, like rent support and chemical dependency counseling. He views Wilder as “not just doing a little good for a lot of people, but doing a lot of good for a lot of
Dave, Sherla and Ron raised their kids to be aware of career, giving and volunteer opportunities that support the community. Pete—who is now married to Becky—says he and his wife now model these values for their own children.