Gilda’s Club New York City celebrated 25 years of providing free cancer support and raised $1 million to keep its extraordinary work going at its Virtual Anniversary Benefit Gala.
Gilda’s Club is dedicated to being the premier cancer support organization in New York City providing a welcoming community for everyone impacted by cancer – cancer support for the whole family, the whole time. The organization founded in memory of Saturday Night Live (SNL) comedienne Gilda Radner honored Giovanni Caforio, M.D., Chairman & CEO of Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), with the Red Door Award for Leadership; Emma Stone, actress and Gilda’s Club NYC Ambassador, accepted the Gilda Radner Award.
WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter returned as Gala host for the 9th year. Ben Platt performed his new song “So Will I;” guests were also serenaded by his Dear Evan Hansen castmate Nicole Van Giesen and The Workshop NYC A Cappella. A who’s who of comedy icons and friends of Gilda, including Laraine Newman, Kenan Thompson, Chevy Chase, Susie Essman, Martin Short, and Alan Zweibel, shared their favorite memories of her and marveled at how beautifully Gilda’s Club NYC has carried on her legacy. Guests were also treated to a clip of the late Gene Wilder, Gilda’s husband, recalling a visit from Gilda in a dream and summing up just how crucial Gilda’s Club NYC is for people living with cancer.
“It’s already such an isolating experience to be going through something like cancer,” said Emma Stone as she accepted the Gilda Radner Award. “A place like Gilda’s Club showing patients and families that they are not alone, that everybody can access for free, is absolutely a vital resource and something that I am so proud and lucky to have gotten to visit and be part of in a small way through the years.” Stone has also served on the board at Gilda’s Club NYC.
“People fighting cancer need much more than medicine. They also need support and care from organizations like Gilda’s Club,” said Giovanni Caforio, MD after being honored with the Red Door Award for Leadership. “Helping to combat isolation, provide a strong shoulder to lean on, and share the challenging journey of survivorship is an essential part of the treatment regimen.”
This year, the need for Gilda’s Club NYC’s free cancer support is more pressing than ever as COVID-19 upends the lives of the cancer community the organization serves. In March, Gilda’s Club NYC transitioned its program to a virtual format – and participation and attendance have been up 70% ever since. Proceeds from the evening will allow Gilda’s Club NYC to continue to be a lifeline for its growing member base, and allow people living with cancer an opportunity to receive support and connect with others from the comfort of their homes.
As part of the event, an online silent auction remains open until Monday, November 16th and features incredible offerings. Donors can bid on Zoom calls with Rachael Ray & Mary Giuliani or Alan & Robin Zweibel; autographed memorabilia from Hugh Jackman and Gilda herself; and gorgeous art courtesy of the The Yellow Cab Project, which has donated five uniquely designed diecast model cabs by Waro, Jon Koon, Marco Gallotta, Clint Henderson, and Iena Cruz. To view all of the available lots, click [here.
Honorary Chairs for the evening include Joanna Bull, Mandy Patinkin, and Robin & Alan Zweibel. Gala Co-Chairs are William S. Slattery, Senior Partner, Deerfield Management, and Jami Rubin, Partner, PJT Partners.
Gordon Dyal & Co., LLC is a Gold Sponsor of the event. Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb, and Syngene are Silver Sponsors. Red Door Sponsors include Accenture, A+E Networks, Argot Partners, Arsenal Capital Partners, Deloitte, Joan & Bob Easton, Eisai, Kirkland & Ellis, PWC, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, Slattery Family Foundation, Takeda, and WCG. Bronze Sponsors include Cowen, Deerfield Management, Robert DeBitetto, Hogan Lovells, IQVIA, JLL, LEK, Ellen & Bella Lubman, Morgan Stanley, SAP, Tsveta Milanova, TAG, and UnitedHealthcare.