For the past two and a half decades, Gilda’s Club has been a community of hope and support for individuals and families impacted by cancer in the Quad Cities community, a news release says.
Gilda’s Club was named in honor of Emmy award winning actress and original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Gilda Radner. In 1986, Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
After attending The Wellness Community in Southern California, Gilda envisioned places of participation, education, hope and friendship to be made available to men, women, and children with all types of cancer and their families and friends. Although Radner passed away in 1989, her husband, Gene Wilder, and Joanna Bull, along with other friends and family, answered Radner’s call to action. Together, they founded Gilda’s Club and opened its iconic Red Door in New York City in 1995.
Gilda’s Club Quad Cities was founded when a group of local oncology nurses saw a need for social and emotional support for cancer patients and their families in the area. They approached Rich Horst asking for his help and he gathered a founding board of local community leaders in 1995 and together they began the process to establish a Gilda’s Club in the Quad Cities.
Gilda’s Club Quad Cities opened its clubhouse doors on Nov. 8, 1998, at the mansion on the hill with the red doors along River Drive in Davenport, Iowa. This was the second Gilda’s Club in the nation to open its doors to the community.
Gilda’s Club Quad Cities made its home at our clubhouse on River Drive until December 2020.
In February 2021 the first clubhouse opened in Moline inside UnityPoint Health – Trinity just down the hall from its cancer center. The Davenport clubhouse opened the following year in September 2022 at Genesis Health Systems West Campus directly above its cancer center.
Since opening our doors in 1998, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities has served close to 4,500 people living with cancer and their loved ones. In 2022 Gilda’s Club served 557 individuals, held 490 programs and services, and had 2,300 visits to its programs and & services.
Here’s how the community can be a part of this milestone celebration:
1. Share your Gilda’s story: Have you found solace, laughter, or inspiration within the Gilda’s Club walls? Share your personal Gilda’s story using the hashtag #BehindTheRedDoorsGCQC and tag Gilda’s Club. Your experiences can encourage others who may be facing a similar journey.
2. Volunteer: Consider giving the gift of your time. Gilda’s club always need assistance with outreach, event committees, front desk volunteers, administrative tasks, and more. Your presence and compassion can make a world of difference in the lives of members.
3. Donate: Your financial support helps to sustain our programs and expand our reach to more individuals who are being impacted by cancer. Visit here to donate to the anniversary fundraiser.
4. Donate and serve a meal for members: Toward the end of 2023 Gilda’s Club has been able to provide a group dinner every week with the help of businesses and organizations. The organization hopes to continue this into 2024 with a group dinner every week. Contact Lexi@gildasclubqc.org to schedule a date.
5. Become a Gilda’s Ambassador: Help raise awareness about Gilda’s Club Quad Cities.
6. Host a fundraiser: There are many ways to raise money, including a jeans day at work or a Facebook fundraiser for a birthday.