Our History

Cancer Action, Inc. was formed in 1959 with the mission to be a leading not-for-profit cancer support group, dedicated to delivering highly-responsive prevention, education and wellness programs and support services to those affected by cancer.

Cancer Action’s objective was to create a better-informed and healthier population. Building on that mission in 2000, Cancer Action, Inc. brought the Gilda’s Club program to the Rochester community. This collaboration allowed us to present a wider variety of programs and offer much-needed social and emotional support to those living with cancer, along with their families and friends.

Named for legendary comedienne Gilda Radner, the first Gilda’s Club opened in New York City in 1995. When Gilda’s Club Rochester opened its Red Door for the first time in September 2000, there were 630 annual visits. Now we serve over 5,000 people annually. Gilda’s spirit lives on as members both give and receive love and laughter through our unique programs and events. Gilda's Club Rochester offers over 1,000 free programs each year to the men, women, teens and children whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

In 2010, Gilda’s Club Worldwide and The Wellness Community merged to form the Cancer Support Community. Each of the 50 affiliates maintains their individual not-for-profit status (which assures that 100% of your donations stay right here in the Rochester community.) The Cancer Support Community affiliation provides each club with research and statistical information, programs, materials and a network of international cancer support expertise to provide the best experience for our members and their families.

Our Mission

Meet the Team

Get to know the people behind the scene at Gilda's Club Rochester!