WBCS, Inc. was founded in 1998 as an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Its mission is to support early-stage breast cancer research and prostate cancer research at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center.
Since its founding, WBCS has had a $93.65 million impact at MCW. Its cumulative investment is $7.05 million to fund research awards and to endow WBCS research professorships in breast cancer research and prostate cancer research. To date, WBCS-funded researchers have leveraged their awards into a substantial ROI of $86.6 million in external research funding.
WBCS acknowledges with sadness the recent loss of Michele “ Lucky” Schweiger, our generous community partner, passionate volunteer and friend. Michele was a warrior who fought a courageous personal battle with lung cancer. Diagnosed in August 2019, Michele lost her battle in May of 2020.
We remember and honor Michele for her unfailing commitment to raise funds for cancer research. Through her good work and that of her family and friends, she gave generously of herself to support breast cancer and prostate cancer research at the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center through WBCS.
Michele and her husband, Tom, proprietors of Lucky Lanes on Howard Avenue in Milwaukee, agreed seven years ago to host an all-day bowling fundraiser to support the WBCS mission. Their friend, Mike Malkowski, had come to them with a proposal to help make a difference for patients diagnosed with breast cancer, after observing his mother’s fight with the disease. So, every April beginning in 2014, Michele, Tom and the Malkowski family have led a team of enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers who staffed the tournament. To add to the proceeds, they include raffles, refreshments and giving opportunities. Because of the Covid-19 crisis and Lucky Lanes’ concern for the well-being of all participants, however, the seventh annual event in 2020 is being postponed for a safer time.
This very popular Lucky Lanes Bowling for a Cure event has raised over $50,000 for research through WBCS—enough to fund a year of scientific discovery at an early stage that otherwise might not have been possible. Tom and Michele named Lucky Lanes for the nickname, “Lucky,” given to Michele by her father. How lucky we are to have Lucky Lanes as our outstanding community partner!
>>> Along with so many Bowling for a Cure volunteers, we will continue to be inspired by Michele’s thoughtful leadership, her quiet dedication, and her determination to make a difference for patients fighting cancer. Our WBCS family extends heartfelt gratitude and sympathy to Tom and to the entire Lucky Lanes family for their commitment to continue to fund research to advance treatments and cures for breast cancer and prostate cancer. As we go on without her, we will remember Michele for her courage, for her commitment, and for the spirit she brought to our journey together.
2018-19 WBCS Board of Directors
Seated (L-R): Vera Wilson, Jan Lennon, Ellen Irion (Chair), Kellee Selden, Kimberly Jones (Treasurer)
Standing: Linda Short, Margie Edwards, Kadie Jelenchick, Patrica Virnig, Kathleen Dean
Unavailable for photo: Claudia Gavery (Secretary) and Colleen Reilly (Immediate Past President)