The Story Behind the “Drink Wisconsinbly” Auction Item That Was a Hit at Three Pillars’ Annual Gala

Our Annual Gala is a tradition that started in 2019. Each Gala features an auction of several unique packages. The story behind this one item made us smile so big that we knew we had to share it.
Enjoy this excerpt from our Development Department’s Foundations donor newsletter.

Our Drink Wisconsinbly package generated a whopping 36 bids—more than any other auction item at our gala.

The package featured a variety of Leinenkugel’s beers, along with a vintage Leinenkugel’s Classic Canoe Paddle donated by Village on the Square resident Dawn Bachmann. The paddle was presented to Dawn’s late husband, Clyde, by Bill Leinenkugel and Paul Mayer, former president of Leinenkugel’s Brewing Company.

In 1962, Clyde took over his family business, PT Bachmannn, manufacturer of bottle labelers and conveyor systems, which was started by his grandfather. He owned and operated the company until he sold it in 1995. PT Bachmannn serviced the beer and soda industry throughout the United States and Canada, and Leinenkugel’s was one of Clyde’s favorite customers. 

Every year, Leinenkugel’s would hold its Spanferkel bash, which included a golf outing and pig roast. Clyde himself was in charge of roasting the pigs, so he designed and built a customized stainless-steel BBQ apparatus to get the job done.    

Clyde would stuff the suckling Spanferkel pigs with a delicious combination of chicken, onions, Italian sausages, and mushrooms. The exact recipe varied from year to year. He was also known for his famous baked beans. Clyde did all of this gratis, simply because he was grateful for his Leinenkugel’s business associates. In return, the Leinenkugel brothers gave Clyde the canoe paddle to represent their treasured partnership.

“Clyde was a member of the Worlds Tandem Labelers, and he was a 32nd Degree Mason, known as the Scottish Rite Freemasonry. He was also a Shriner with the Milwaukee Tripoli Shriners, and often rode his motorcycle in local parades.”

Clyde, Paul Mayer, and Bill Leinenkugel.

Thank you, Dawn, for donating the paddle to our gala auction!

More on our Charitable Giving.