It’s Saturday Nite! Gilda’s Club Quad Cities gala raises $85k

Live from the QC… it’s – a generous and prosperous – Saturday Nite! 

Leaders of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities are thrilled by the results of their recent fundraiser, It’s Saturday Nite! The event featuring Saturday Night Live (SNL) alum Tim Meadows raised nearly $85,000 for the Quad Cities cancer support club. 

More than 250 people attended the gala last Saturday, April 2, at Rhythm City Casino, Davenport. 

From left: Jana Guinn takes a selfie with emcee’s Denise Hnytka, Michelle Darland and Decker Ploehn at Gilda’s Club Quad Cities’ It’s Saturday Nite! fundraiser. CREDIT RICK JENNISCH PHOTOGRAPHY

“I’m overwhelmed by the support and energy coming from the guests at our signature event,” said Michele Darland, development director of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities. “Cancer touches us all, it is life altering and the funds we raised show that the community understands the importance of the emotional and social services Gilda’s provides.”  

In addition to Mr. Meadows’ comedic entertainment, the benefit featured Quad Cities band favorite Soul Storm, a silent auction, and a lively and spirited Fund A Need led by Bettendorf City Administrator Decker Ploehn and Jana Guinn of Stenzel Auction. The Fund A Need alone raised $25,000 – more than ever before and triple last year’s $7,500. 

But in all, the evening raised $84,410, which doubled the amount raised from last year’s inaugural It’s Saturday Nite! The club replaced its former Intimate Conversations fundraising event with the new format to make it more mission focused and raise awareness as well as to pay tribute to its founder and namesake, the late Gilda Radner. 

The 2019 Intimate Conversation event still holds the club’s fundraising record – raising $106,000 from a crowd of 600. That event featured a conversation with American Idol Winner Maddie Poppe. 

Another new 2022 fundraising activity, Adopt a Chemo Bag, collected enough money to provide 42 care packages to newly diagnosed cancer patients. 

Executive Director Joy McMeekan praised the support that Gilda’s Club receives from Genesis Care Center, which was the primary sponsor of Live from QC. In fact, its event sponsorship allows 100% of the money raised to go directly to Gilda’s programs in the Quad Cities.

The club, which sold its iconic mansion on Davenport’s East River Drive, now partners with both Genesis Health System and UnityPoint Health – Trinity, to provide its cancer support services on site at Genesis Care Institute, West Campus, Davenport, and Trinity-Moline. 

“We are expanding hope,” Ms. Darland said after the event. “Gilda’s Club has embarked on a bold vision to bring life-enriching programs to larger groups of residents in several counties on both sides of the river.” 

In addition, Ms. McMeekan announced that construction began in March on a new 8,500-square-foot clubhouse to be located on the Genesis Cancer Institute’s second floor. 

The new facility will feature all the current programming and offer these new amenities: an outside entrance with private elevator, a welcoming community room with resource center and coffee bar, three support rooms for group sessions, and a kitchen space, which will be the heart of the clubhouse and host social gatherings and programming. The new clubhouse also will have Nooggieland, a special place for kids, that includes an art studio, a teen and young adult lounge, and a yoga and wellness studio. It is expected to be completed by July.

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