A great MACC Fund summer gives way to Fall Fun for MACC

The saying “Time flies when are having fun” certainly applies to the MACC Fund’s summer of 2011. It is hard to believe that summer has ended, meteorologically speaking and since we have the end of summer with the observance of Labor Day. It was a fun summer starting with the “Chili’s MACC Open” at Tuckaway Country Club in early June. We quickly changed gears to the 22nd annual “TREK 100 Ride for Hope” at Trek Bicycle’s impressive headquarters in Waterloo. The MACC Fund Golf Tour was in full swing throughout the always all-too-short season featuring over 20 golf events. The Tour included the 16th annual “BP MACC Fund Open” whose cumulative gifts passed the million dollar milestone! The MACC Fund’s summer ended with the annual Hartford Gun and Conservation Club’s “Shoot for a Cure” to benefit Women for MACC on the last weekend in August.

Summer gives way to autumn and more exciting MACC Fund events. Packers fans can’t wait for the September 8 kickoff of the NFL season when the Super Bowl Champions take on the 2010 Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Friends of the MACC Fund will be cheering for the Green and Gold and its fine quarterback Aaron Rodgers who has embraced the children and the MACC Fund with the same passion he attacks opposing defenses.

Saturday, Sept. 10 will be “Christopher’s Shoot Against Childhood Cancer” at the Waukesha Gun Club in honor of a young boy who has captured the hearts of many. September 11 will find car enthusiasts driving to 6514 S. Lovers Lane in Franklin for “Gus’ Mexican Cantina MACC Fund Car Show.”

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin’s impressive CEO, Peggy Troy, told the MACC Fund’s board that the MACC Fund was the hospital’s biggest donor at the Fund’s 2010 annual meeting. The MACC Fund is proud to be part of the team in the MACC Fund Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Hospital. As a friend and partner of Children’s Hospital, we encourage you to sign up for the 34th annual Briggs and Al’s Run / Walk for Children’s Hospital on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011 to help advance the care of all kids. The fun starts on Marquette’s campus at 10:30 and ends on the lakefront. Visit http://www.alsrun.com/home.htm to learn more.

Friends will celebrate the life of Cheri Amore through “Clip for a Cure” to benefit the Cheri Amore Memorial and the MACC Fund at Pier West in Twin Lakes on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Sat. Sept. 24 will be a busy day with two events. First thing in the morning, the annual “Bob and Brian Plane Pull” sponsored by Frontier Airlines, Laacke & Joys and 102.9 THE HOG will give you a chance to pull a plane. Where else can you say you were able to do that? Listen to THE HOG at 102.9FM for exciting Plane Pull updates. Later that morning, Regner Park in West Bend will be the site of the inaugural “Shave, Brave and Save” sponsored by The Giving Three. This family friendly day will offer fun for all with proceeds benefiting important cancer and blood disorder family services and MACC Fund supported research. Women for MACC’s exciting “Couture for a Cure” on Oct. 12 promises another great Boston Store fashion show at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.

As you can see, no matter the time of the year, it is always the season of caring for the children by supporting the MACC Fund. We encourage you to keep up to date on all of these events and more by following the MACC Fund on Twitter or Facebook or visiting http://www.maccfund.org We hope to see you this Fall. Thanks for caring for the children. We are proud and grateful to have you on the MACC Fund team that is giving “Hope Through Research” to children battling cancer and blood disorders.

John Cary, Executive Director

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Timothy Emmett Steele loved the children and and his wonderful family and friends loved him.

Timothy Emmett Steele could very easily be regarded as one of those unforgettable characters we used to read about in Readers Digest. His all-too-brief life affected many people. The Dubuque, Iowa, native made Chicago his second home where he was a very successful representative for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. My wife and I had the good fortune to meet Emmett many years ago. After hearing about the MACC Fund from us, he was deeply touched by the children and the unique story of the MACC Fund. Following his untimely death while in his mid-thirties, he left a $100,000 gift from his estate to help the MACC Fund help the children with cancer whom he loved.

For the past 16 years, his friends hosted a party in his honor by carrying on his memory and his legacy of love for the children by contributing proceeds from the event to the MACC Fund. The final party was held on Friday, Aug. 5 at the beautiful Saddle and Cycle Club on Chicago’s lakeshore which graciously hosted nearly all of the annual “Midsummer Night’s Remembrances.” It was another beautiful night with the guest of honor handling the weather as he did throughout the Party’s glorious run. The popular “Afrodisiacs” provided the musical entertainment once again to the dancing delight of all.

As is often the case, all good things come to an end. It was a bittersweet ending like many endings are, but it was far more sweet than bitter when you consider that nearly $500,000 was contributed over the 16 years of the Party to commemorate and celebrate the life of Timothy Emmett Steele. I had the privilege to know him for far too short a time, but I knew him long enough to know that I wish I known him longer. People said he always made everyone feel like they were the most important person. He had a gift of friendship and caring and the legacy of that gift is the Gift of Hope his family and friends have given through the annual summer soirees.

The MACC Fund’s heartfelt thanks on behalf of the children and their dedicated and loving caregivers goes out to his family and all who supported the annual Party. Very special thanks goes to the organizing committee members of the T. Emmett Steele Memorial Foundation. They include Board of Directors Jim Clary, Peter Garvy and Dwight Ekenberg who was the group’s ardent leader with support from his wonderful wife, Robin. The committee members were Marty Crowe, Bob Howington, Bill Kelly, Ed Murphy, Brett Opie, Tom White, Kevin Carroll, Sean Hunter, Dave Stewart, Emmett’s sister and brother, Brigid and Mike, and his nephew John Mickelson.

Emmett’s spirit will live on in his wonderful family and countless friends and in the case of the MACC Fund, in the research his gift and his friends’ gifts have supported. He would be pleased to know that the overall cure rate for childhood cancer has climbed to 80%, thanks in part to this special Party in his honor. He would be the first to note though that the work of helping the children if far from done as shown by that 20% number. Hopefully the T. Emmett Steele Foundation’s loyal supporters will continue to support the MACC Fund, which would make Emmett even prouder! The assets of the Foundation will be liquidated by the end of the year with all of our remaining funds donated to the MACC Fund. We think that he would like that.

Timothy Emmett Steele truly loved the children and his wonderful family and friends dearly loved him.

John Cary, Executive Director

MACC Fund Friend Mark Wilson will have high school golfers cheering him on in the British Open

PGA Tour professional golfer Mark Wilson will play his third “Major” of the year this week. When he tees it up in the British Open on Thursday, he will have a special cheering section back home in the States of at least 12 golfers who had the chance to play with him on June 27 at Erin Hills, the site of the 2011 US Men’s Amateur Championship and the 2017 US Open. Wilson, the Honorary Chairman of the Lake Country Charity Invitational since 2007, played with three teams which were some of the leading fund-raisers for the annual Invitational which is sponsored by Hartland’s Arrowhead High School for the benefit of the MACC Fund. Hoping to help the MACC Fund any way he can, he has played with teams each year since the MACC Fund has benefited from the Lake Country Charity Invitational beginning in 2007. This is no small effort. This year it entailed a 12-hour plus day and was wedged in before an early morning flight on Tuesday to the Tour’s A T & T Tournament in Philadelphia. It also was the start of a three week tournament run culminating with the British Open.

Four golfers each from Arrowhead, Kettle Moraine and Whitnall High Schools played 6 memorable holes with Wilson. High school golf is near and dear to Mark’s heart. So is the MACC Fund since attending Milwaukee Bucks games with his dad. As a freshman, he was a member of the Wisconsin Lutheran High School team which won the WISAA state golf championship. After a great high school and junior golf career, he went on to become an All-American at the University of North Carolina where he was Mathematics major and won the prestigious Walter Hagen Award in 1997 for academic and athletic excellence.

Any follower of the MACC Fund knows that Mark is no stranger to the fight against childhood cancer and blood disorders. He and his lovely wife Amy have supported the cause since 2004, the year he joined the PGA Tour. In keeping with their desire to do all they can to help, they added an exciting new dimension to the Erin Hills event this year as an added incentive for the teams to play their best at the championship tract. They chipped in $25 for every Par and $50 for every Birdie made adding $3,000 to the 2011 Lake Country Charity Invitational proceeds which was played at Western Lakes Country Club in Pewaukee on April 29. This brought the total raised through the Invitational this year to $49,000, a remarkable sum proving that the players are as concerned for the children as they are for their game. The Lake Country Charity Invitational is sponsored by Hartland Arrowhead High School and features some of the state’s finest high school golf teams. The Invitational, under the direction of iconic former Arrowhead golf coach Tom Tallmadge, has as its motto ““Some kids play, so others might live.” The five-year donations from the Invitational which tees off the annual MACC Fund Golf Tour total $193,000.

The understated Wilson made quite an impression on the golfers he played with at Erin Hills. Steve Gerger of Hartland Arrowhead’s team noted “I was actually not nervous, believe it or not. He’s a real genuine guy, easy to get to know.” Nick Johnson of Kettle Moraine agreed saying “He’s a great guy. It’s like I’ve known him forever.” Arrowhead’s Kyle Driscoll commented “He’s awesome to play with. He’s really nice and very complimentary of everything.” Anyone who knows Mark knows that these fine golfers are not only good at hitting putts but they are also good at assessing people.

Mark, who has won four times on the Tour since 2004, is having his finest year in 2011. He is one of only three golfers who have won two tournaments this year, the Sony Hawaiian Open in January and the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. He has been in the top echelon in the FedEx Cup point standings since the second week of the PGA season and led the standings for three months following his Feb. 7 win at Phoenix where he an his caddy wore Cheeseheads on the famous 17th hole in honor of the Packers who were playing in the Super Bowl. He currently ranks sixth in the FedEx Cup standings and is ninth on the PGA Tour’s money list with $2,716,000 in earnings.

A member of the MACC Fund’s Honorary Athletic Board, Wilson’s “Making a Mark Fore MACC” donates to the MACC Fund for every 36-hole cut he makes in addition to contributing extra dollars for every top 10, 20 and 30 finish. Mark and his wife Amy have contributed $178,000 to the MACC Fund in the past 7 years, the largest amount ever donated to the MACC Fund by a professional athlete and his family.

No one knows who will win the Open Championship, but one thing is known for sure, Wisconsin’s high school golfers will be pulling for their newfound friend and backer, Mark Wilson. Kids battling cancer and blood disorders helped by Mark’s support of the MACC Fund will be cheering for him as well. So will I. I hope you do too.

John Cary, Executive Director

June’s graduation parties and weddings are always special

June is a time for graduation parties and weddings (and allegedly nice, warm weather). Saturday found us in Fond du Lac for the high school graduation party of our great nephew. It was such a nice time as the families of four high school buddies came together to celebrate this milestone in a park. It is a scene which takes place in small towns and big cities throughout our great country. It is a scene however which families whose children have been touched by cancer and blood disorders never take for granted. Graduations, like Proms and Homecomings are always special for these young people. Sadly, far too many never get the chance to have their graduation party which reminds us once again that we support research to honor those who have died.

Following this very special event, we headed south to attend the wedding reception of a very special young woman whom I have had the good fortune to know since her days as a toddler. Now a beautiful 31-year-old, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (cancerous tumors behind the eye, to the layman) when she was 3 months.

Nothing was said of her battle with cancer as an infant, yet there was a heartfelt reference to the MACC Fund. You knew from what her dad, a beloved member of the MACC Fund family, said – which was affirmed by the approving nod of his wonderful wife – that their hearts were full of gratitude to the researchers and the doctors and nurses who cared so lovingly for their little girl that this day which they always dreamed of was here. One can’t help but think of the range of emotions from looking back to that fateful day when they learned that their beautiful baby of three months had cancer to the image of her walking down the aisle as a 31-year-old bride with her dad on her arm. Ironically, the beautiful bride’s proud husband is a pediatric neurology researcher working in the MACC Fund Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin specializing in epilepsy.

June is indeed a month filled with graduation parties and weddings. They may be commonplace for most, but for those whose life has been touched by cancer or a blood disorder as a child, they are never taken for granted.

John Cary, Executive Director

A Day to Remember for the WBCA Boys All Stars

The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has been a wonderful supporter of the MACC Fund since the inception of the WBCA All-Star Games in 1978. The WBCA’s Girls and Boys All-Star Games held at the venerable UW Fieldhouse in Madison on June 17 and 18 respectively featured the top high school graduates in the state. This year’s record donation of $130,000 raises the 34-year total to $1.8 million.

One of the highlights each year for the players, coaches and the MACC Fund is the visit to the UW Hospitals and Clinics where the Girls and Boys teams hear from Dr. Paul Sondel, the charismatic leader of the University’s pediatric hematology, oncology, transplant service. This year was no exception when the Girls arrived on Thursday afternoon to hear about the research their fund-raising efforts supported. Following Dr. Sondel’s presentation, the girls heard from a girl one year younger than them who has spent her high school years dealing with cancer having been diagnosed with osteosarcoma as an eighth grader. This young woman was inspirational in every way and undoubtedly left a lasting impression on the teams just like she did on this writer. It is not easy to stand in front of a group of your peers and talk about cancer, but this lovely young woman did with a style and grace which belied her teenage years.

The Boys turn to hear from Dr. Sondel followed on Friday. The auditorium filled quickly and the program proceeded in the expected way highlighted by Dr. Sondel’s understated excellence which quickly captured the attention of the largely teenage audience. Dr. Sondel spoke of the illustrious history of the UW Cancer Center and noted, as he does every year, that the first bone marrow transplant was performed at UW in 1967 by Dr. Fritz Bach. The reference to that great accomplishment was different this year however. To the surprise and delight of all, Dr. Bach was a guest of Dr. Sondel’s in the auditorium. Dr. Sondel followed the commentary showing a picture of this legendary medical pioneer by introducing him to the surprised crowd.

A spontaneous standing ovation ensued to the delight of Dr. Bach’s proud student, and to the embarrassment – to some degree – of Dr. Bach whose stature as a scientific icon exceeded the stature of a room full of basketball players. When the applause finally stopped and everyone was seated, Dr. Bach quietly told the group that the acclaimed accomplishment was one of a team of people just like they were part of a team. Few in the room will ever forget this special meeting, to be sure.

Dr. Sondel’s presentation ended with the introduction of a young man who was a year older than the audience he was addressing. He spoke articulately about his diagnosis of osteosarcoma while he was preparing to play in a football game for the state sectional as a high school junior. He never got to play in that game or in the following state championship game. He never played football again. His story hit home with the young athletes preparing to play in their final game associated with high school, the WBCA All-Star Games.

Dr. Sondel’s fine presentation, the young guest speaker’s eloquence and the chance meeting with the iconic Dr. Bach undoubtedly created a lasting memory for the players and coaches. Dr. Bach is now 77. It is hard to imagine that his pioneering transplant which changed the course of cancer care for generations was accomplished when he was only 33 years old. Imagine the years of preparation and study which led to that in a world where today’s world of computers wasn’t even a dream. It makes the transplant which preceded man’s first steps on the moon by two years even more amazing. Dr. Bach’s vision and the courage to pursue it changed the world for those fighting cancer. Now bone marrow transplants help cure diseases beyond cancer.

Ironically Dr. James Naismith, who became a physician after creating the game of basketball which brought these players and coaches to Dr. Sondel’s presentation, was only 30 years old when he nailed the peach baskets to the wall giving birth to basketball. The similarities between the world changing efforts of these two physicians was not lost on the appreciative Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association’s Boys All-Star teams. They will leave Madison with memories of their All-Star week which extend far beyond the iconic UW Fieldhouse hardwood on which they ply their trade.

Dr. Naismith would be proud of these modern day basketball players. Dr. Bach will undoubtedly remember for years to come the standing ovation by an auditorium filled with players and coaches who joined together to raise funds for the MACC Fund to support the work of one of his prize students, Dr. Paul Sondel. A student whose acclaim extends beyond the borders of the United States and who, like his mentor, is continually looking for better ways to treat people battling cancer.

It was quite a day, indeed. Thanks to Dr. Bach for having the courage to dream, to Dr. Sondel for embracing that dream and to the WBCA Girls and Boys All-Star teams for extending their excellence on Dr. Naismith’s basketball court to support the MACC Fund by raising funds for Dr. Sondel’s outstanding UW research team research which continues to be inspired by a pioneering mentor, Dr. Fritz Bach. It certainly was quite a day.

John Cary, Executive Director

WBCA Girls and Boys All-Star Basketball Games on Friday and Saturday at UW Back MACC

The Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has been a wonderful supporter of the MACC Fund since the inception of the WBCA All-Star Games in 1978. The WBCA’s Girls and Boys All-Star Games will be held at the venerable UW Fieldhouse in Madison on June 17 and 18 respectively featuring the top high school graduates in the state. Tickets will be available at the Fieldhouse for games which will take place throughout Friday and Saturday.

In addition to being the best on the court, the players and the coaches excel off the hardwood as well. Players in the state’s five divisions raise funds to benefit the MACC Fund and help children with cancer and related blood disorders. Many generous sponsors, donors and fans will help the WBCA contribute important research dollars to the MACC Fund through the 34th Annual Games. The impressive grand total through the previous 33 games is $1.7 million.

The Coach’s Association is the second longest sustaining sponsor of the MACC Fund following the Milwaukee Bucks which helped in the MACC Fund’s creation during a game at the milwaukee Arena in 1976. Their outstanding fund raising total of $1.7 excluding the 2011 games is the third highest in MACC Fund history following the TREK 100 and Women for MACC.

In addition to playing in the iconic UW Fieldhouse, the players will have a chance to visit with Dr. Paul Sondel who heads the pediatric cancer efforts at the nationally renowned UW Carbone Cancer Research Center. Dr. Sondel, an internationally acclaimed scientist / physician, will speak to the players while they are in Madison. He will be joined by two young students battling cancer who will relate their experiences to the players and coaches to “put a face on the MACC Fund” and their special efforts to support it. The MACC Fund has committed $6.5 million to support research in Madison since the mid 1980s. That research is conducted in the 14,000 square foot MACC Fund Childhood Cancer Research Wing in the Wisconsin Interdisciplinary Medical Research Center (WIMR) of the University of Wisconsin.

The MACC Fund thanks Mike Huser and Tony Scallon, co-chairmen of the Boys’ games, as well as the Girls’ co-chairs, Loren Homb and Sam Mathieson for their dedication and support as the Games Co-Chairs. In addition, the MACC Fund extends its thanks to all of the WBCA coaches, its Executive Committee including its longtime Executive Director Jerry Petitgoue, and Assistant to the Director and Past President Ken Barrett.

Head on over to the Fieldhouse if you are looking for some great hardcourt hoops. You can’t beat the best in high school basketball, especially if it helps the MACC Fund help kids. Thanks a Million, coaches!

The 22nd Annual TREK100 Cranked for a Cure

The 22nd annual TREK 100 held on June 11 was another success in a long line of great Rides. The MACC Fund is so fortunate to be able to have such an incredible partnership with the company that has forged the leading name in cycling, Trek Bicycle Corp. of Waterloo, Wis. Trek opened its doors once again for the Ride for Hope which signals the official start of summer each year for the MACC Fund – and many others.

The disappointing spring weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the 2,200 riders who showed up bright and early to Ride for Hope. Their training may have been cut short by Mother Nature, but they all knew they would be supported by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers from Trek and the MACC Fund and by the best bike mechanics around as well. They were welcomed by towns and municipalities which offered their services for four courses measuring 19, 36, 62 (100k) and 100 miles. Very early morning rains cleared away before the first riders left Trek’s impressive headquarters following a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Laura McGonagle who shares her great gift with the TREK 100 every year.

Before they left they met Christopher who was recently diagnosed with cancer and quietly sat in a wheelchair as his “Cruisin’ for Christopher” team rode by flanked with hundreds of newfound friends who were touched by his poignant story. The riders saw a familiar face in Brandon who is entering his senior year in college and once again told the riders “If it wasn’t for you supporting the MACC Fund, I wouldn’t be here today.” His words always touch the riders. So do Cindy’s who spoke of her beloved Cheri who thanked the riders for the last time in 2002 shortly before her fourth bone marrow transplant. She died about three weeks later but her spirit lives on in the TREK 100 and all the MACC Fund does. Cheri’s dad, adorned in orange, her favorite color, made sure the riders set off in an orderly manner once again this year.

The day was long, but it was oh so worth it. Arriving from a nearby hotel at 3:45 AM, the staff did their best to convince themselves and each other that it wasn’t really raining. It worked for a while, but a steady rain spoiled those thoughts. Just as quick as it started, the rain stopped never to be seen again once the first riders headed out at 7:30 to the sounds of early-rising members of the Rose Bowl experienced UW Band. They serenaded each colorful wave of riders with crowd favorites. More than half of the states were represented as well as several countries.

Each year, I get to mingle with the appreciative riders while doing my duties of emptying the trash boxes. Some observers might say that this is my true level of competence. It offers a chance to thank the people while also doing unscientific research gaining valuable insights into their riding experience. Almost to a person, the comments are positive. Remarkably they include the riders offering thanks for helping to give them this great ride. That is always amazing and serves as a tribute to Trek and its fine team as well as to Colleen Moran who does such an incredible job of leading the MACC Fund’s efforts. Unflappable, she always deflects attention to others in the spirit of “servant leadership.” Insiders know who makes it happen for the TREK 100 from the MACC side though. Words can’t thank this mother of 2 enough for her dedication to the MACC Fund which started the day after she graduated from college 18 years ago. She looked like a happy mom holding her 4-month-old Patrick who joined his big sister Mary for a visit to Trek where their Dad works “riding bikes.” This popular little twosome helped brighten an already bright day.

Walking through the crowd tending to the trash, I met an incredibly fit 72-year-old who has ridden in every TREK 100. This year he was joined by his 14-year-old grandson who was visiting his grandpa from Utah. The boy listened patiently as I urged him to treasure every moment with his grandpa. Grandpas have a way of looking out for each other. Grandpa beamed as his grandson’s proud daughter stood by admiring her dad as well. Grandpa wanted him to do this ride because it was so good and was so special for what it accomplished each year.

There was another TREK 100 veteran who has a perfect dance card as well who fit in the 2011 edition before making the 3.5 hour ride to Hudson, Wis. for a 3:30 PM wedding. Virtually nothing, he said, would keep him from riding in the TREK 100 and helping the MACC Fund like he has since 1988 when he was the beloved principal of Shorewood High School. That started ongoing support from the impressive high school which continues today. There was couple who traveled from Illinois and watched in wonder after their ride. The thousands who gathered support the work of this wonderfully gifted clinician who cares for the children whom the MACC Fund is dedicated to helping. She was joined by a gracefully aging cancer researcher/clinician pioneer who rides nearly every year and was affectionately known as “Dr. Peanut Butter” by Teddy, a member of the MACC Fund Angels.

There was an octogenarian who rides each year as well. He enjoyed the fun surrounded by youthful admirers. He was joined by a spry sexagenarian who took up the riding challenge after talking to a mom whose child is a cancer survivor. They attended “An Evening With Aaron Rodgers” for the MACC Fund a mere 25 days ago. He went from 0 to 25 miles (he circled back to his original riding group several times) in 1.47:00 while raising several thousand dollars in the process. This affable “60 Something” has had special place in his generous heart for the MACC Fund for over a quarter century. Having him with us for this big event was an added gift.

It is always a special treat to see our friend who was recently promoted to General in the Indiana National Guard. Several years ago, he rode his own TREK 100 while serving in Iraq as a Colonel. Whether in Iraq, where he served twice, or in Indiana, each year he raises thousands of dollars to help the MACC Fund help kids. This meeting found his arm in a sling from a “bad decision” on his part earlier in the day. He raved about the SAG (TREK 100 course support) help, the local hospital in Columbus and all who cared for him along the way. A friend of his serving in Afghanistan is doing his TREK 100 there now following in this special TREK 100 tradition. Joining our friend were riders supporting the “Wounded Warriors.”

There were family reunions and colorfully clad teams enjoying well-deserved carbo-reloading moments. A young couple counting down the final months of their engagement returned from their ride and spent the rest of the day helping out. They walked through the crowd passing out ice cream bars to grateful riders as a harbinger of their walk up the aisle in two months as husband and wife. There was an ageless grandmother who watched over the food tent all day as only a mom turned grandma can. She smiled endlessly as appreciative riders – whose day started with fresh pancakes on the griddle – marveled at the fare presented to them by accomodating volunteers clad in their red TREK 100 shirts.

Through it all, “Road Trip” entertained the relaxing riders from a giant stage. This enormous wonder somehow folded into a semi-trailer after its work day ended. Although it didn’t do its disappearing act until four lucky raffle winners won three great prizes including a Madone and a weekend at Trek’s beautiful Mansion Hill Inn compliments of the genial and generous host, Trek Bicycle Corp.

The final rider rode in about 6:15 PM. The MACC Fund crew thanked the dedicated volunteers who remained and got back in their seven Ryder trucks about a half hour later, some 15 hours after arriving full of hope for another great day while undoubtedly quietly praying for a good day. The prayers were answered and everyone departed knowing that kids with cancer and related blood disorders were well served.

The fun and fund-raising isn’t over though. The inaugural TREK 100 on-line auction kicks off in a few days. It includes once-in-a lifetime items from Trek for the Tour de France and the Tour de California as well as exciting behind the scenes items for the Milwaukee Bucks and the UW football Badgers. Check out http://www.trek100.org for more information.

The 2011 TREK 100 is now another important part of the great History of Hope that that is the TREK 100, the largest fund-raiser in the MACC Fund’s impressive 35-year history. The previous 21 Rides have raised over $9.2 million. That incredible $10 million mark looms on the horizon and the on-line auction provides an extra chance to hit it. Whether it is reached this year or next, one thing is certain – the children, their family, friends, caregivers and dedicated researchers all have two words for the Trek Bicycle Corp. and everyone who was part of the 2011 TREK 100 – “Thank you!”

John Cary, Executive Director

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