Atlantic City's Hard Rock Cafe hosts Dion Thursday, Nov. 29, for second annual Gilda Rocks On benefit for local Gilda's Club chapter.
Gilda Radnor’s brand of quirky, nerdish comedy endeared her to the American public as an original Saturday Night Live cast member, and while her life was cut short in its prime by ovarian cancer, her legacy lives on through the non-profit cancer support group that bears her name, Gilda’s Club.
One of the most successful of the dozens of Gilda’s Club affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada — created as an offshoot to the southern New Jersey-born Ruth Newman Shapiro Cancer and Heart Fund in 2003, about eight years after the original Gilda’s Club was founded in New York City — is Gilda’s Club of South Jersey.
A huge part of the reason is the South Jersey chapter’s affiliation with Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming, and his wife Isabel, a longtime Gilda’s Club of South Jersey board member.
The couple has honed a reputation as trendsetters in southern New Jersey civic and charitable circles, and still calls the Atlantic City region their home.
Last year Isabel Allen, along with fellow Gilda’s Club of South Jersey board members Joan Licursi, Phyllis Lacca, and Hard Rock senior director of brand philanthropy Annie Balliro, came up with the idea for the inaugural Gilda Rocks On benefit to carry on the club’s grassroots philosophy of providing free support programs to all cancer sufferers and their families.
Jim Allen joined the cause and used his considerable influence to make the inaugural event a blockbuster success, raising about $150,000 for Gilda’s Club last November at the Taj Mahal’s Hard Rock Café.
The second annual Gilda Rocks On event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Hard Rock, and — with Grammy award-winning, Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Dion as its feature act this year — has already exceeded last year’s monetary totals.
“We’re really fortunate that Jim has these connections to help us out, and just asked Dion to come play for us,” says Gilda’s Club of South Jersey CEO Michelle Chalmers.
“Not only is it going to be a great time, this will really help to raise awareness for who we are and what we do in the community, and for anyone touched by cancer. It’s a great opportunity to get additional exposure when you have a big room coming in, and a performer of that magnitude playing for you.
“We’ve already exceeded our goal thus far, and with the ticket sales still coming in this week and a great silent auction, everything else is just a wonderful bonus that will allow us to reach out and assist even more people in the community.”
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The Palm Restaurant, located inside The Quarter at Tropicana, will host the sixth annual “Movers. Shakers. Difference Makers.” luncheon to benefit Gilda’s Club of South Jersey on Friday, Oct. 15 at 11:30am.
When it comes to helping cancer victims and those affected by the disease, Gilda's Club is unwavering. Named for comedian Gilda Radner who died of cancer in 1989, the organization offers free social ...
GILDA RADNER BELIEVED IN LAUGHTER and spread that ideal through her appearances on Saturday Night Live and other comedic venues. Now, Joy Behar and Robert Klein will perform at the Tropicana on Friday, August 27 to benefit Gilda's Club South Jersey and honor Radner, a victim of ovarian cancer. "We're calling it 'Live from Atlantic City, It's (Almost) Saturday Night,' says Sarah Griffith, executive director of Gilda's Club, located at North Carolina Avenue and the White Horse Pike in Atlantic City. "This is our first year to do a comedy event and comedy seems like such a natural because of the Gilda connection that it seemed like a great concept for truly a fun fundraiser. The response has been fantastic." This is the largest event of its kind produced by the local Gilda's Club, one of 17 located throughout the United States and Canada (10 more are in development). "The showroom seats 1,800 and we anticipate selling it out, although there are tickets still available," says Griffith. "There will be a show and after-party post show, so you can do a combined ticket and really have quite an evening. You can certainly do either or -- or combined." Raffle tickets are available...
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