by Michelle Pape
Service in the City: Wauwatosa is home to many local and regional non-profit organizations that provide exceptional services. Sometimes, they can be overlooked and underappreciated. In our series, Service In The City, we highlight some of these fine organizations and share the incredible impact they’re making on our “City of Homes.” We also inform you of opportunities to contribute your time and talents.
Hope. It’s a little word that goes a long way, especially for families with children facing a cancer diagnosis. For 40 years the MACC Fund, or Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer, Inc., has been providing the gift of hope by supporting critical research.
“Research is not a black hole, research is hope,” said MACC Fund executive director John Cary, at Women for MACC’s recent spring meeting. He delivered this important message to a room of teary-eyed attendees after telling the story of a six year-old boy who was recently diagnosed with leukemia.
Through research, the five-year survival rate for all types of childhood cancer has increased from 20 percent in 1976 to 80 percent today, but there’s still a long way to go. Childhood cancer remains the number one disease-related cause of death in children and survivors are left to deal with a host of life-long side effects after treatment.
The Early Years
The MACC Fund was established at halftime of the Milwaukee Bucks game on December 10, 1976, the night Jon McGlocklin, co-founder and president of the MACC Fund, retired from the NBA. The idea was born when Brett Doucette, son of former Bucks announcer and MACC Fund co-founder Eddie Doucette, was diagnosed with leukemia. Doucette and his wife, Karen, quickly learned that one of the biggest challenges to combatting childhood cancer locally was a lack of funding.
McGlocklin and Doucette made a commitment to local research that evening, not knowing the magnitude their efforts would reach. They raised $35,000 their first year. Today, the MACC Fund has contributed nearly $59 million to childhood cancer and related blood disorders research.
In 1982, Women for MACC (WMACC) was established to help support the mission. Pam McGlocklin, WMACC past president, fondly recalls their first meeting in the basement of the old Children’s Hospital, which brought together nurses, athletes’ and doctors’ wives, families of current patients and friends who wanted to help the cause. WMACC’s first event was a children’s fashion show, which raised $2,500. Today, WMACC has contributed $4.7 million to the MACC Fund.
Local Effort, World-Wide Impact
MACC Fund support is given to four Wisconsin-based institutions including the Marshfield Clinic, which was recently given a $50,000 clinical trials grant, the Medical College of Wisconsin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, where some of the top scientists in the country are working tirelessly to discover innovative treatments and develop new protocols.
Jon McGlocklin is extremely proud of the number of children’s lives the MACC Fund has been able to impact not just locally, but around the world.
“It’s a remarkable story, one that belongs to Wisconsin,” said McGlocklin. “What we’re doing here benefits the world and many people don’t realize that. If we have a breakthrough here, it goes everywhere.”
The Southeastern Wisconsin community embraced the MACC Fund from the start and continues to fuel its growth. Fundraising efforts for both the MACC Fund and WMACC are largely event-based. Both organizations rely on the generosity of the community to make events successful. Purchasing a MACC Star at the local Sendik’s, running the Lucky Leprechaun 7K through the streets of Tosa or carb-loading at WMACC’s Pasta Fest all have a direct impact on critical research funding.
Wauwatosa resident and WMACC board member, Jenny Bultman, is proud to support a cause that is not only close to home, but also making a significant impact on the future of childhood cancer treatment.
“I think of our members who have experienced the journey of cancer – and in some cases loss – with their own children,” said Bultman. “I admire that they are turning their experience into action. It’s a privilege to work beside them.”
Over the years the MACC Fund offices have moved around the greater Milwaukee area, eventually landing in their current home in Wauwatosa’s Research Park. Tosans should be proud of the groundbreaking research being conducted right in our own backyard. See below to learn about ways you can support the MACC Fund and Women for MACC.
Join the Fight: Ways You Can Help Battle Childhood Cancer
- Donate: From annual gifts to those in honor or memory of a loved one, every penny counts, every dollar matters.
- Attend or sponsor an Event: With a great mix of special events, there’s something for everyone. Check out some of these upcoming events and visit the websites for even more:
- MACC Fund Trek 100 – June 3, 2017
- Brewers Mini Marathon – September 10, 2017
- WMACC’s Nine, Wine & Dine golf outing – September 11, 2017
- WMACC’s Couture for a Cure fashion show and luncheon – November 7, 2017
Can’t attend? Consider becoming a sponsor or donating a raffle or auction item for these events and more.
- Volunteer: Donate your time, talent, and energy to an upcoming event, either as a planning committee member or event day volunteer.
- Become a Member: Join Women for MACC. Your $35 membership connects you to a group of incredible women and helps offset operating costs, ensuring all proceeds from events go directly to critical childhood cancer research.