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VIDEO | Celebrating Betty Nelson Day at MOWA as local philanthropist reaches 100-year milestone

West Bend, WI – The Museum of Wisconsin Art rolled out a thoughtful tribute Sunday afternoon as family and friends gathered to share fond memories and wish a happy 100th birthday to longtime MOWA supporter Betty Nelson.

Nelson was praised for her commitment to the community and, according to dear friend Prudence Pick Hway, “Betty and her husband Cliff taught by example. They lived simply, they gave generously to the community and to this Museum and they taught a future generation about what giving back really means”

Hway praised Betty as someone who “has a Grace and a quiet Elegance that strikes you immediately upon meeting her, followed very closely by a quick wit and a good sense of humor.”

Good friend John ‘Rocky’ Dedrick took the opportunity to wish his “dearest friend Betty McCargo Nelson a happy 100th birthday. “It’s hard to put into words how instrumental she and her husband Cliff were in this West Bend Community.”

Former West Bend Art Museum director Tom Lidtke credited Nelson with helping the Museum of Wisconsin Art reach its full potential.

“What an outstanding accomplishment to reach 100 years,” said Lidtke. “Thank you so much for your service to the community especially the Museum of Wisconsin Art you were pivotal; your efforts and Cliff’s efforts were pivotal in getting us to this point again thank you.”

july betty

Since Betty Nelson’s official birthday isn’t until July 11, 2023, the Museum of Wisconsin Art is encouraging patrons and community members to deliver or send birthday cards to MOWA for Betty.

Address cards to:

Betty Nelson

Museum of Wisconsin Art

205 Veterans Ave.

West Bend, WI 53095

Watch for a tribute to Betty Nelson pop up on LED boards across West Bend, including Horicon Bank, Maus Jewelers, West Bend Elevator- all wishing Betty a ‘Happy 100th.’

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Nelson’s generous contributions to the museum have allowed MOWA to celebrate the incredible achievements of Wisconsin artists and provide an accessible, one-of-a-kind experience for visitors.

Donors like Nelson keep MOWA an affordable, high-quality experience that attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year to the West Bend Mothership and its satellite locations throughout the state.

Nelson has been a staple of the West Bend community for a considerable portion of her 100 years. She grew up in a home on the hill, currently occupied by McLane Elementary School.

Betty Nelson home in West Bend

She spent a lot of time outdoors with her family.

Betty Nelson in the snow with her family

Nelson’s gifts to the museum and the community of West Bend continue through the United Way’s Cliff and Betty Nelson Leadership Awards, her many contributions to local nonprofits, and her countless philanthropic efforts.

The award is named in honor of the late Cliff Nelson and his wife Betty, who are known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations.

For more information, visit wisconsinart.org

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