While the late legendary comedienne Gilda Radner was undergoing her cancer treatments, she repeatedly stated that support groups were an essential part of her life’s journey. She envisioned a warm and welcoming second home where people living with cancer and their families could go, without any cost to them, for support and friendship.
Gilda’s dream is now a reality. In 1991 her husband, actor Gene Wilder and friends founded Gilda’s Club in her memory to offer emotional and social support to anyone impacted by any type of cancer. The first Gilda’s Club opened in 1995 in New York City. Gilda’s Club Westchester (GCW) opened our signature red doors on Maple Avenue in White Plains in 2001. GCW currently serves Westchester and Rockland Counties and Connecticut’s lower Fairfield County.
Gilda’s Club Westchester started with 346 members and now has 4,000 members per year. Over the 20 years Gilda’s Club Westchester has served over 20,000 individuals.
Each year we add more members and more programs and events.
Here are some of our key highlights of Gilda’s Club Westchester’s 20 years:
2001: On March 5, Gilda’s Club Westchester opened its signature red doors on Maple Avenue in White Plains, providing free social and emotional support to anyone impacted by cancer in any way. GCW served 346 individuals impacted by cancer in 2001 through support groups, lectures, workshops, and social events.
2004: GCW served its 1,000th adult and 100th child impacted by cancer.
2007: Gilda’s CLASS, GCW’s school-based program, was established. Since then, GCW has provided support and education to over 10,000 school professionals, students and parents in schools through consultations, workshops, and support groups.
2009: GCW held its first annual Teen Essay Contest, a program that offers teens impacted by cancer a creative outlet to express themselves. Since 2009, hundreds of teens have shared their cancer story with GCW.
2009: Gilda’s Club Worldwide merged with the Wellness Community to form Cancer Support Community, the largest cancer support network in the country.
2013: GCW formed its first hospital partnership with Hudson Valley Hospital Cancer Center. Since 2013, GCW has partnered with hospitals all over Westchester, Rockland and Fairfield Counties.
2015: GCW added its bilingual hotline to provide counseling and resources to Spanish speaking individuals impacted by cancer.
2016: GCW provided its 5,000th healthy lifestyle class. Workshops and classes include meditation, yoga, exercise, music, creative arts, dance, journaling and more.
2018: GCW held its first annual summer camp for kids impacted by cancer.
2019: GCW received funding to expand the clubhouse and create a Teen Center specifically for teens impacted by cancer.
2020: GCW added MyLifeLine, a web-based community offering support and resources to those living with cancer, as well as caregivers. GCW went virtual on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All programs were moved online resulting in a 50% increase in utilization of services.
2021: GCW celebrates 20 YEARS of FREE cancer support for over 20,000 individuals impacted by cancer.
Gilda’s Club Westchester provides free support activities and resources for those of all ages living with cancer, as well as their family and friends. For more information, contact (914) 644-8844; firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://gildasclubwestchester.org/i-am-a-person-with-cancer-4/.