On Friday, September 30th, a private celebration and tribute was held at our Clubhouse for actor, comedian, and co-founder of Gilda’s Club, Gene Wilder.
It is with deep sorrow that we mourn Gene Wilder’s death – he will remain forever in our hearts at Gilda’s Club. We are grateful to him, both as the founder of Gilda’s Club, and as an advocate for cancer patients and their families for so many years. His personal experiences with Gilda Radner and their journey together with Ovarian Cancer led him to speak out publicly about her illness. Gilda received much needed support during this time. The experience and the benefits of the support she received led Gene to found Gilda’s Club along with Joanna Bull her psychotherapist, and several of their friends. Now 21 years old and serving thousands of cancer patients their families, Gilda’s Club and Gene’s legacy lives on.
More than 75 guests attended the reception and listened in rapt attention to incredible remembrances from our special guest speakers: Frank and Ann Russo, founding board members; Alan Zweibel, friend to both Gene and Gilda; Mandy Patinkin, who had supported GC in its very early days; and co-founder and psychotherapist to Gilda, Joanna Bull. Member Mary Elizabeth Williams also shared her feelings on being a member of GC and influences of Gene in her life.