30 years of Hope with TODAY’S TMJ4

TODAY’S TMJ4  has been part of the MACC Fund from its beginning on the Milwaukee Arena floor during a Milwaukee Bucks game which included a ceremony to retire Jon McGlocklin’s familiar #14.  That was December 10, 1976.

TODAY’S TMJ4 became a sponsor in 1981 when it presented MACC*THON on Saturday, December 19.  The new 6-hour telethon featured remote broadcasts from throughout the city as well as live presentations in the television studios in Radio City on Capitol Drive. A star-studded cast of local celebrities joined hosts Jon McGlocklin and Terry Meeuwsen in Studio A to help a child with cancer.  “Mr. Baseball,” Bob Uecker, hosted high school aquatic events at the Schroeder Aquatic Center.  (In later MACC*ATHONS, Uecker would host his own “Uecker Tonight” segments patterned after NBC’s Tonight Show with Johnny Carson who welcomed Bob frequently as a guest.)  That first MACC*ATHON featured patients and their parents who were interviewed along with the caregivers who were dedicated to helping them.  It was a spectacular night of 6 hours of live, local television.

MACC*ATHON ultimately went from 6 hours to 2.5 hours and continued for 16 more years before giving way to the current incarnation of live broadcasts, the two-hour live TODAY’S TMJ4 Sports Auction 4 MACC.

The 14th TODAY’S TMJ4 Sports Auction 4 MACC will celebrate 30 years of Hope on Saturday, December 11 from Noon – 2 PM. TODAY’S TMJ4’s Mike Jacobs and Carole Meekins will host the live two hour production which will take place in TODAY’S TMJ4’S Studio D.  Lance Allan of the TODAY’S TMJ4 Sports Team will be a “color commentator” and News Radio WTMJ’S Jonathan Green, a professional auctioneer, is the Sports Auction’s “MACCtioneer.”  Jonathan will retire after a great radio career which spanned more than four decades, most of which were at WTMJ Radio. A cast of MACC Fund volunteers will take bids on 25 sports related items.  

In addition to MACC*THON and the Sports Auction 4 MACC, TODAY’S TMJ4 also produced 30-minute special broadcasts as well as a series of 1-minute “Story of Hope” vignettes which are now shown during regular programming throughout the year.

The TODAY’S TMJ4 MACC*Star has been a staple of the holiday season since 1988.  With the exception of the inaugural year, the round porcelain ornament with the familiar star design inside has been designed by a child who has benefitted from the cancer and blood disorder research which the MACC Fund supports.  This year’s TODAY’S TMJ4 MACC*Star was designed by 7-year-old Emile Janzen of Pewaukee. 

Thirty years is a long time to be together in any venture. In television it is an eternity.  Little did anyone know then that the relationship between the MACC Fund and TODAY’S TMJ4 would be as strong and vital as it is 30 years later. This great relationship is unmatched on the local broadcast scene and undoubtedly on the national scene as well. 

~ John Cary, Executive Director


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