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Drive for a Cure supports Cancer Center, honors advocate

June 12, 2013 College News - A well-established fundraiser that allows participants to test-drive the car of their dreams began a new chapter in 2012, the first year that proceeds were donated to the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Cancer Center. The Bergstrom Corporation’s Drive for a Cure raised more than $50,000 for breast cancer research at MCW last year, and the partnership will continue with this summer’s event.

Adding further distinction, the event is now held in memory of the late Melodie Wilson Oldenburg, a longtime television news anchor and tireless breast cancer advocate who died from the disease in 2009 at age 59. Wilson was a co-founder of the MCW Cancer Center Board, and she served on the MCW Board of Trustees with John Bergstrom, Chairman and CEO of Bergstrom Corporation, who decided Drive for a Cure should honor this remarkable lady.

“She challenged the Board, and me, on a number of occasions to stay focused on breast cancer research. She was a champion of this cause,” said Bergstrom, who was Chairman of the Board at the time. “I just had a tremendous respect for the passion she had to help others.”

Held at Bergstrom on Victory Lane in Appleton, Drive for a Cure is a two-day event that last year included a fleet of 100 Bergstrom vehicles, such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti, Acura, Audi, Land Rover, Volvo, Lexus and Fiat. For each mile test-driven, Bergstrom donated $1 to the Cancer Center. Food and refreshments as well as a raffle were also featured.

“Every one of us has someone in our family or close friends impacted by breast cancer,” John Bergstrom said. “With the great respect we have for the MCW cancer research program, we wanted to put our focus on helping this incredible, Wisconsin institution.”

The MCW Cancer Center is a network of cancer experts, investigators, clinicians, research programs and resources connecting all cancer-related activities and representing the collective cancer effort at the Medical College of Wisconsin. It is the only center of its type in Southeastern Wisconsin. Donations to the Cancer Center support MCW physicians and scientists, and their innovative research in the causes, prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer.

“Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in women, so we still have much to gain from the lessons that novel research can teach us,” said Ming You, MD, PhD, the Joseph F. Heil Professor in Molecular Oncogenesis and Director of the MCW Cancer Center. “Through community support, we can strengthen the capabilities of the MCW Cancer Center.”

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 232,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2013 and that nearly 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.

“A commendable effort by the Bergstrom team resulted in a generous gift to the MCW Cancer Center,” said MCW President and CEO John R. Raymond, Sr., MD. “My sincere thanks go to John Bergstrom for his leadership and for his meaningful tribute to Melodie Wilson Oldenburg, who was an inspiration to many.”

Start your engines

Bergstrom Corporation’s 2013 Drive for a Cure will be held Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16 and 17, at Bergstrom on Victory Lane in Appleton, Wis. Proceeds support breast cancer research in the MCW Cancer Center.

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Page Updated 07/23/2013