The Concerned Women of the Grove (CWOG) are a dedicated group of women from the Fire Island community of Cherry Grove, who raise awareness and funds on behalf of causes related to breast cancer and research. Gilda’s Club is honored to be one of the recipients of their efforts since 1999, with more than $364,000 raised over the years at their annual benefit event in the Grove.
In 2014, the future of the event was uncertain. The founders, an incredibly enthusiastic and giving group, informed Gilda’s Club that they were not able to host the event any longer and hoped that a new group would take the reins. The timing was uncertain and for Gilda’s, the loss of this fundraiser was felt.
In the winter of 2016, Gilda’s Club was excited to hear that a new group, called the Concerned Women of the Grove – The Next Generation, was ready to take over and with the support of the founders, had planned a fundraiser for August 5, 2017.
The summer event was a hit! More than 300 enjoyed an afternoon and evening at the Ice Palace where there was live entertainment, dancing, food, and drinks. A spectacular live and silent auction raised more than $13,000 for Gilda’s Club.
Thank you to the founders of CWOG and CWOG – The Next Generation for continuing to support Gilda’s Club!
Below is an excerpt from the speech that organizer, Angela Ruggerio gave at the CWOG event:
I have the utmost respect and admiration for the founders of Concerned Women of the Grove!
They have shown the Cherry Grove Community perseverance, compassion, kindness and dedication of service for almost 20 years of fundraising for Gilda’s Club of New York City.
When I approached Annie Scarpa (original founder) a year ago and told her I would like to bring back Concerned Women of the Grove her eyes lit up and she was so excited. I thought, ‘Wow, this is my turn to give back to such a great cause.’ Then I thought, ‘O boy!, how am I going to carry the torch (pink ribbon) and do what these women did so well for almost two decades?’
I approached several women that I thought would be as dedicated as these women were and to tell you the truth I think I formed the best committee ever! Our committee has worked with so much compassion enthusiasm and excitement to make our fundraising event be so successful.
A very special thanks goes out to:
1. The Next Generation for all your hard work: JoAnn Orfanos, Jennie Mandelino, Paulette Manos, Angela Smith, Stella Bruzzese, Sue Panzer, Paulette and Diane St. Pierre
2. All the volunteers and the generosity of the Ice Palace, who donated their nightclub
3. Thank you Rob & Dr Frank
4. Donna Piranha for hosting our event
We greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts to make this event be so successful and look forward to an even more successful event next year!