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Gilda's Rocks on with Dion

Atlantic City's Hard Rock Cafe hosts Dion Thursday, Nov. 29, for second annual Gilda Rocks On benefit for local Gilda's Club chapter.

By Ray Schweibert
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 1 | Posted Nov. 28, 2012

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Dion plays the Hard Rock Nov. 29

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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1. Franny said... on Nov 28, 2012 at 04:47PM

“is he playing solo?”

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