The Susan G. Komen BigWig 2021 campaign is in full swing which means a dozen fun, compassionate Milwaukeeans are donning their massive, pink wigs to draw attention to and raise $75,000 for breast health, research and support for those already diagnosed.
The BigWigs campaign engages local corporate and community leaders as representatives in the fight against breast cancer. During the four-week campaign, each BigWig will raise or give a minimum of $5,000, which will be used to ensure access to essential breast health services and education programs, and support research to find the cures for breast cancer.
"Each of us in some way has been impacted by COVID and its impact on breast health has been especially significant. We’ve seen a decline in cancer screenings, research funding has been reduced, and breast cancer patients are dealing with delays in treatments and experiencing financial hardships," says Nikki Panico, Executive Director of Komen Wisconsin.
This year's BigWigs include:
• Tim Boyle, Green Bay Packers
• Daven Claerbout, Dutchland Plastics
• Steph Graham, Perlick Corporation and Jennifer Jin
• Keller Williams Realty Team
• Delia Noblecilla, Molson Coors
• Georgette Retzer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
• Lisa Sullivan, GE Healthcare
• Dr. Karri Adamson & Dr. Patrick Hettinger, MCW/Froedtert
• Kendall Richards, All Comfort Services, Inc.
• Hannah Kitzerow, Saz's Hospitality Group
The campaign runs through Monday, March 15, on which day one of the participants will be crowned the Ultimate BiggestWig.
Due to COVID-19, Komen fundraising efforts have faced challenges. The annual Pink Gala was canceled and "More Than Pink" switched to a virtual event, both efforts leaving the organization $150,000 short of the funds needed to fully support urgent local breast cancer needs.
"Every cent raised here, stays here," says Panico.
For Panico, working for breast health is a personal as much as a professional passion. Panico is a breast cancer survivor who lost her mom and her aunt to the disease.
"The women and men facing breast cancer need our support now, as much as ever. Whether it’s emotional support through our helpline, financial support through our treatment assistance program, research to discover more effective treatments, or help navigating their care journey, we must be there for them," says Panico.
To find out more and / or to support the BigWigs campaign, go here.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.