Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc and Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs, along with her husband John Palmert, Director of Franchise Sales at Cousins Subs, Making Personal Donations to Kick Start the Campaign

MILWAUKEE, WI (April 20, 2020) – Cousins Subs, Summerfest, and Disrupt Idea Co. announced a new initiative today to feed frontline healthcare workers at Aurora Health Care. From April 20-26, 2020, the public is encouraged to make a donation to provide subs for frontline healthcare workers. Every dollar raised will be used to purchase discounted subs from Cousins Subs, through its Make It Better Foundation, to team members on the front lines of the COVID-19 health crisis.  To make a donation visit

To kick off the campaign, Don Smiley, President and CEO of Milwaukee World Festival, will personally donate money to purchase 100 subs and Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs, and her husband John Palmert, Director of Franchise Sales at Cousins Subs, are personally donating $1,000 dollars.

During the week of April 27th, the Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation will use campaign dollars to purchase subs, at a 25 percent discount, and deliver them to frontline healthcare heroes at Aurora Health Care. 

“We are all inspired by the bravery of frontline workers during this challenging time and are grateful for their commitment to the health and safety of our communities” said Don Smiley, President & Chief Executive Officer of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. “We are also grateful that our partner Cousins Subs has offered a way that we can all demonstrate our appreciation. Let’s make it a delicious and healthy success!”  

"Cousins Subs is proud to be Local At Heart and has a long-standing tradition of making it better for our hometown heroes," said Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs. "We're privileged to partner with Summerfest and Disrupt Idea Co. to offer a week-long opportunity for our community to come together to contribute funds to feed courageous frontline workers at Aurora Health Care through this component of our Cousins Cares initiative." 

“We’re grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from the community and from our partners during this pandemic,” said Carrie Killoran, president of Aurora Sinai Medical Center and the Greater Milwaukee Patient Service Area. “We thank Summerfest and Cousins Subs for helping to provide subs to our frontline team members who are working diligently every day to care for our patients. A donation like this raises their spirits and shows them the appreciation we all feel for them.”

Cousins Subs and Aurora Health Care are sponsors of Summerfest. The team at Disrupt Idea Co. donated their time and talent to build the online donation platform.  For more information and to make a donation visit

About Summerfest Presented by American Family Insurance

Following its 1968 debut, Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration, hosting the music industry’s hottest stars, emerging talent and local favorites along with approximately 800,000 people from Milwaukee and around the world each year for an unforgettable live music experience. During the festival, the spotlight shines on over 800 acts, over 1,000 performances, 12 stages, delectable food and beverages and interactive activities, all in a world-class festival setting. NEW DATES - Summerfest will take place September 3-5, 10-12, and 17-19, 2020.  For more details, visit, or Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:  @Summerfest.

About Cousins Subs
Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs®, a family-owned, fast casual sub shop established in 1972 by Bill Specht and his cousin, is driven by the mission to Believe in Better – both in the quality of food it serves and in the communities it supports. Cousins Subs and its franchise partners operate nearly 100 sub sandwich shops in Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, providing guests with quality deli fresh and grilled to order subs using only the freshest ingredients on its signature bread baked daily. For more information, visit You can also find Cousins Subs on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Advocate Aurora Health
Advocate Aurora Health is the 10th largest not-for-profit, integrated health system in the United States and a leading employer in the Midwest with more than 70,000 employees, including more than 22,000 nurses and the region’s largest employed medical staff and home health organization. A national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience, and value-based care, the system serves nearly 3 million patients annually in Illinois and Wisconsin across more than 500 sites of care. Advocate Aurora is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies and is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, and pediatrics. The organization also contributed $2 billion in charitable care and services to its communities in 2016.

About Disrupt Idea Co.

Disrupt Idea Co. drives business growth using purposeful creative ideas. The agency makes transformation possible for organizations of all sizes by finding opportunities to remove friction, add value or strengthen emotional connections across marketing and communications, product and service offerings and operations. Using strategy, culture, design, communications and technology, Disrupt Idea Co. helps clients reinforce and improve their customer experiences to change customer behaviors, drive growth and earn loyalty. The company is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, visit