135 Years and Going Strong

135 Years and Going Strong

What do Eastcastle Place senior living community, the Brooklyn Bridge, Pidgeon Point Light Station, Children’s Home and Aid and the Metropolitan Opera have in common?

They’re all celebrating their 135th anniversary. The milestone event is particularly momentous for a not-for-profit retirement community.  Eastcastle Place has graced Milwaukee’s Eastside for 135 years, providing quality retirement living.

At the helm of the celebrations for the anniversary is Eastcastle Place’s new philanthropy director Michael Brever. Prior to coming to the senior living community, Brever was in leadership at Milwaukee’s PBS television station. “I was in charge of fund development for the station and served as an ‘on air’ personality for fund drives. It was a lot of fun,” he said. When there was a change of management at the station and a great opportunity opened for him at Eastcastle Place, he decided to make the shift. “I was intrigued by the possibility of working with and for a wonderful group of people at a wonderful establishment. I decided it would be a good fit.”

Brever said that Eastcastle Place’s philanthropy efforts have been on hiatus over recent years. The anniversary along with the development of a new master plan will play a key role in the resurgence of their philanthropy efforts.  “It will elevate our profile as we reach out to the community seeking support,” he said.

As the director of philanthropy, Brever said, “There are things I will be doing that are fundraising, and others that are friendraising. To that end, the 135th anniversary is at the center of our focus. I am chairing a committee that’s planning our celebration banquet in September. I have been able to bring in local Milwaukee celebrities John McGivern and John Gurda to serve as emcees, and am seeking corporate support and sponsorships at various levels. We’re doing fun and unique things tied to that.”

In the category of friendraising, Brever said, he seeks to promote Eastcastle Place’s distinguished longevity in the community. “We’ll have various events including a tailgate party at Miller Park, to demonstrate that we’re a strong, growing and vibrant organization with great support. We’re raising our profile, sharing our plans and our service model. We provide quality retirement living for 215 individuals. That needs to be a message of which people are aware.  We’re also getting more active with the Downer Avenue Business Association, letting them know that we’re participating in the community.”

Brever added, “We’re a good corporate neighbor. We work hard to be a good employer, providing high quality and fulfilling jobs for more than 200 individuals, along with great growth opportunities. Furthermore, we have a beautiful campus that speaks well of the Eastside of Milwaukee. When people drive past, we’re proud of what they see.  We’re proud of Eastcastle Place.”

Brever said that he’s enjoying his first professional foray into senior living. “There’s a higher level of energy than I expected; a higher level of independence than I expected. The residents embrace the ability to have a direct impact on their own environment. They were legitimately high profile people during their professional careers: attorneys, aldermen, professors…that level of professional sophistication doesn’t abandon you because you become a little bit older. We’re blessed to be able to take advantage of those talents here.”

Brever said he is also very proud of Eastcastle Place’s prominent history. “It’s so unique to have a not-for-profit, a service model, that’s been in existence for 135 years. It’s extremely rare, and really something to be celebrated. It says something to the value we’ve consistently provided and to the mission and the leadership. What we are today is a culmination of what people in 1884 envisioned and continued. We’re a culmination of everyone who preceded us, providing a strong foundation. We want to be part of that chain and have it continue strong.”



Eastcastle Place is a Life Plan Community located on Milwaukee’s vibrant East Side. Eastcastle Place offers independent living, promoting an active and engaging lifestyle for seniors. The Health Center at Eastcastle Place offers assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, thus providing complete continuing care for seniors. Eastcastle Place is managed by Life Care Services®. For additional information call 414-219-1398 or visit www.EastcastlePlace.com.