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Gilda's Club Metro Detroit Bucks Trend, Chooses to Keep Name

As Gilda's Club affiliates across the country change their name, the Royal Oak-based cancer support community chooses to continue to honor the legacy of the comedienne 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 comedienne and actress has a particular emotional tie to her legacy and keeping it's 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.

Does the name matter to you? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Bill Levine November 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
From Gilda's Club Desert Cities: Gilda's Club Desert Cities Logo Gilda as Roseanne Roseannadanna The "brand" of Gilda's Club has grown in part because of its remarkable logo. The red door is vibrant and upbeat; a cariacature of one of Gilda Radner's most beloved characters (Roseanne Roseannadanna) peeks around it invitingly. We learned early on that this logo, with its inherent spirit of humor and courage, welcome and warmth, conveys the Gilda's Club message in a glance.
Jan Smith November 29, 2012 at 08:33 PM
"It's always something..." I'm glad they've kept Gilda's name, but whatever the name, it's the benefits offered to cancer patients that is important.

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