Sept. 27, 2012
MADISON, Wis -- Former UW student-athlete Katie Duchow first learned the power of motivation as a sprinter on the UW track team. When her four-year career ended last spring, Duchow refocused her motivation on making a difference.
Duchow was approached by family friend and fellow UW student Anne Lukach about raising money for Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (the MACC Fund) and it seemed like a perfect fit for her efforts.
The MACC Fund was founded in 1976 by former Milwaukee Buck Jon McGlocklin. Comprised of athletes, local business leaders, and local celebrities, the organization has raised over $41 million to support childhood cancer and related blood disorder research.
A Milwaukee native, Lukach became familiar with the MACC Fund through Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers' association with the group. She began researching the organization and was surprised to learn that it did not have a presence on the UW campus.
“The more research I did, I found how significant of an impact the MACC Fund has on the Madison community,” she said. “I thought it was amazing, all that this organization has done, and not many people know about it.”
Lukach mentioned her surprise to Duchow and together they decided to bring the organization to the University of Wisconsin.
“We thought, ‘How terrific would it be to tap into a new market and a new demographic?’” Lukach said.
To achieve their aims, Duchow and Lukach emailed McGlocklin who was immediately on board. “I responded to that first email,” he said. “I wanted to be involved in this one myself.”
After meeting with McGlocklin, Duchow and Lukach began planning their first event. Held on Sept. 21,, their first event was titled “Barbeque with the Badgers.” The organization set up a table in Library Mall, a main pedestrian gateway on campus, and sold food to raise money and awareness.
More than 25 UW student-athletes were on hand to support the event’s mission and their fellow Badger. They helped to sell food and to let passersby know about the organization.
Senior wrestler Brad Nardick was one of the student-athletes in attendance, along with five of his teammates.
“The team was really excited to come out and fight childhood cancer with the MACC Fund” he said. “We think it’s really important to be involved in the community and we were excited to have the opportunity to be involved tonight.”
McGlocklin also attended the barbeque and gave a short speech to the student-athletes and other event attendees. He was sure to acknowledge the efforts of the event organizers—Duchow and Lukach.
“It takes motivation, it takes commitment and it takes action,” he said. “These girls got motivated, they got committed and they took action. When you have that combination, you’ll be successful and that’s what they are. I’m very impressed with both of them.”
Duchow was equally impressed with the support of her fellow UW student-athletes.
“The association the MACC Fund has with the athletes is amazing,” she said. “To be able to help represent that is to be part of something wonderful.”
Duchow and Lukach are committed to ensuring that Students for MACC’s presence on the UW campus continues.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do what we can to make Jon proud and to do something really special with the opportunity he has given us,” Duchow said.