Friday, December 10 is the 34th Birthday of the MACC Fund. The MACC Fund is all about birthdays since each signals another year of life which is a milestone for the children with cancer and blood disorders to whom the MACC Fund is dedicated to helping.
The MACC Fund began on the Milwaukee Arena floor during a Milwaukee Bucks game 34 years ago on a night honoring “The Original Buck,” Jon McGlocklin. Jon and his dear friend Eddie Doucette, the colorful Bucks announcer who nicknamed Jon “Jonny Mac,” founded the MACC Fund to provide Hope to children like little Brett Doucette. Brett is Karen and Eddie’s son who is now married and is living in Arizona. The MACC Fund’s first “success story” was diagnosed with leukemia 35 years ago.
Little did Jon and Eddie know on that December night warmed by the bright lights of the Milwaukee Arena that we would be celebrating the MACC Fund’s birthday 34 years later. They never dreamed that the MACC Fund would donate $39 million for an incredible “Gift of Hope” during this time. These gifts have played an important role in helping to raise the overall cure rate for childhood cancer from 20% to 80% thanks to tens of thousands of donors, volunteers and thousands of events.
They certainly never dreamed that the gifts to research to the Medical College of Wisconsin over a 5-year period in the 21st century would total $5.6 million. That amount of money undoubtedly would have seemed incomprehensible in the 20th century. What is even more remarkable is that that investment has yielded 48 National Institutes of Health grants totaling $21.4 million in extramural research support. How’s that for an impressive return on investment – in children!
Lots of things have changed over the past 34 years – especially and thankfully – the overall cure rate. But some things have stayed the same, namely the resolve of all those who care for the children and are dedicated to curing these diseases. Thanks to all who have joined the fight which Jon and Eddie have led as the standard bearers for 34 years. Special thanks are in order as well to John Steinmiller, Vice President of Business Operation of the Bucks who helped lay the seeds in 1976 and has continued to cultivate them through the generosity of Senator Herb Kohl, the owner of the Milwaukee Bucks who graciously and generously continued the support which his predecessor Jim Fitzgerald began on the December night in 1976. All of the state’s teams joined in to help the children including the Brewers, the Packers, the Admirals, the Wave, Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee as well as countless college and high school teams. Leading the way for the high schools were the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association since 1978 with their annual Boys and Girls All-Star Games.
So here’s to the MACC Fund, to all of the children, to the incredibly talented and dedicated researchers and staff, to the physicians, nurses and wonderful staff, to the event participants, the volunteers, donors, sponsors, friends, the media of all sorts who spread the word, and of course to the founders, Jon and Eddie, who dared to dream the dream of a “Gift of Hope.” Happy 34th Birthday MACC Fund.
Through all of the celebrations, we never forget that we support research to honor those who have died. Thanks for celebrating the MACC Fund’s 34th Birthday by being part of its “Gift of Hope” through Research. Please consider giving a special birthday “Gift of Hope” by visiting www.maccfund.org and clicking on “Donate” at the top.
“Happy Birthday dear MACC Fund, Happy Birthday to you!”
~John Cary, Executive Director