Getting Gildie-Centric with these Emerging Leaders
Flashback Friday to our Golden, Giving & Gildie-Centric feature with an update, still the best way to describe the emerging philanthropists of the Associate Board of Gilda’s Club NYC (GCNYC). Updated for 2018, but I can’t think of a better example of volunteers to highlight in honor of National Volunteer Week.
Gilda’s Club originated in NYC in 1995 in memory of beloved comedienne Gilda Radner (SNL original cast), who died too soon of ovarian cancer in 1989. Founded by Gene Wilder (Radner’s then husband), psychotherapist Joanna Bull, Mandy Patinkin, Joel Siegel and others, GCNYC provides a place where cancer patients and their families can find support, resources, and a community that cares.
The Associate Board of Gilda’s Club NYC is comprised of a dynamic group of our next generation of business leaders. The AB — as they are referred to — range in age from their mid-20s to 40. The average age member is mid-30s. Sadly, most weren’t even aware of who Gilda Radner was since they were very young or not even born at the time.
Thanks to an incredibly touching new documentary about trailblazing comedienne Gilda Radner, “Love, Gilda” — now playing at Tribeca Film Festival 2018 — these gildie-centric advocates, as well as new generations will gain an inspiring insight into who Gilda was, what she stood for and how the organization they so passionately raise funds for came to be. This added-insight only fuels this group’s already impassioned drive.
For these young professionals, their commitment extends beyond their passion, drive and skill set. For the majority, it’s also personal as their lives have been touched by cancer either through a family member, a loved one or themselves.
“There are those who open their hearts to others…who never think twice about giving of themselves. They are the wonderful warmhearted people who make all the difference in our lives.” — Gilda Radner
Current Associate Board Member and last year’s Chair Ashley Loesch (35) has grown up with cancer and Gilda’s Club. Now nine-year AB member, she is a former participant. For most of her life, her mother had breast, bone, lung and brain cancer and underwent multiple treatments for each. She was not expected to survive, yet she did; over and over again.
“When she was diagnosed for a third time, our hearts were broken. We didn’t know where to turn for the support we both needed. But then we found Gilda’s Club and it changed our lives.” – Ashley Loesch, 2017 Associate Board Chair, Gilda’s Club NYC
Click Here for Ashley Loesch Message
These young professionals are given a unique opportunity to serve as advocates for GCNYC’s work while advancing their personal, professional, and leadership goals. And, each has risen to the charge quadruple-fold.
One of the hardest working Associate Boards, the AB greatly assists GCNYC in raising community awareness and general funds through philanthropic activities and volunteer service. Each member participates in a variety of ways including fundraising, public relations, outreach and recruiting of new members. In addition, each is required to volunteer for one of three events.
The Gildie Awards has become the signature event for the AB
The Gildie Awards (The Gildies) is their signature event which will enter it’s seventh year come this June 6th. Billed as a celebration of life, laughter and courage, The Gildies presents awards for Advocacy and Heart of Gold.
The Red Door Award for Advocacy Honoree, Mailet Lopez, CEO & Founder of IHADCancer.com & Co-Founder and Managing Director at Squeaky.
The Heart of Gold Award 2017 was given posthumously to Sharon Jones, the iconic lead singer of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last November. In 2016, the documentary Miss Sharon Jones! — about her battle with the Big C — received critical success, inspiring moviegoers worldwide. Accepting the award on her behalf was Binky Griptite, guitar player and MC for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.
2018 marks the AB’s 10 year anniversary. Formed in 2008 with the hope that these Gildie-centric, talented, passionate young professionals will cultivate, inspire and empower a new generation of philanthropic leaders and supporters of Gilda’s Club NYC. After seeing the AB in action at last year’s Gildie Awards, I’d say that they definitely are! I can’t wait to see what they accomplish in their next decade. – Abbe is Socially Sparked® — Tweet @sosparkednews @asparks01