Miracle on Canal Street raises nearly $1 million

MILWAUKEE -- 30 children's charities will split the nearly $1 million raised by Potawatomi Bingo Casino during their annual Miracle on Canal Street program that allows bingo players to pay $3 to play "Miracle Bingo." Half of that money goes into the pot for the winner, and half will benefit the children's charities.

Potawatomi officials say they were very pleased to have raised $990,000 through the program this year. This money will benefit charities like Variety Children's Charity of Wisconsin, which plans on using its check to better the lives of children with physical disabilities, whether that's through experiences, like taking them to Bucks games or Brewers games, or specialized medical equipment. "We believe that every child deserves to have a childhood, regardless of their abilities or inabilities," Gerise LaSpisa with Variety Children's Charity of Wisconsin said.

When the recession hit, donations dropped off for many of these non-profit organizations, and they say it was more difficult to provide services and education to help children in need.

Another charity that will benefit from the Miracle on Canal Street program is First Stage Children's Theater - a place that for some children, is the only place they know how to be creative. "Funding has gone down in schools and across the board, really. It's so great to see people come out and support the arts like this," Erica Davis with First Stage Children's Theater said. Davis plans to use her $32,000 check to fund theater programs for nearly 10,000 children in southeastern Wisconsin.

Since the program began, Potawatomi Bingo Casino has raised more than $11 million for children's charitable organizations.

To see the full list of children's charities that will benefit, visit Potawatomi Bingo Casino's website.