Gilda's Club Metro Detroit Bucks Trend, Keeps Name
Affiliates across the country have chosen to change their titles, but the Royal Oak-based cancer support community opts to continue to honor the legacy of the comedian with Michigan roots.
Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit has no intentions of changing of name, according to Laura Varon Brown, the cancer support community's executive director.
Varon Brown's statement comes on the heels of an affiliate's decision in Wisconsin, Gilda's Club Madison, to change its name to Cancer Support Community Southwest Wisconsin beginning in January.
"Gilda’s Club Worldwide merged with The Wellness Community in 2009 to become Cancer Support Community," reports the Gilda's Club Madison website. "Now local affiliates across the country are following their lead. By incorporating what we do into our name, we hope to eliminate the confusion about what we do."
Of course, Gilda Radner has Michigan roots and family here so the Royal Oak-based club named after the comedian and actress has an emotional tie to her legacy and keeping its mission in her honor, said Varon Brown.
"Our name and logo represent the best of what we do: Provide a place for support, laughter and a community to lean on for anyone touched by cancer. The Gilda’s Club name and brand personalizes that mission for us with warmth and humor," said Varon Brown in a statement, hoping to get in front of the club's intent in this regard. "The important tagline in our name and logo of Cancer Support Community, gives clarity to the mission at large. We make it a point to educate our members on Gilda’s spirit and how one woman created and changed a movement. That is her important legacy."
Radner, an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Gilda’s Club Metro Detroit opened its signature red door in Royal Oak for the first time in 1998 to support groups, social activities, creative arts classes and educational lectures, according to gildasclubdetroit.org.
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