Our Mission

Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families, and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause.

Our History

Founded with love by cancer survivors, we officially opened the doors of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids on February 15, 2001.  However, the grassroots movement to bring a Gilda’s Club to our community began in the spring of 1996 by local philanthropist Twink Frey.  As a cancer survivor, she knew personally the lack of social and emotional support resources available to her when she was going through her diagnosis, treatment and life altering “after effects.”  She was joined by two other local cancer survivors – Deb Bailey and Susan Smith – and together, these three women set about the task of founding Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.


Gilda’s Club is:

Locally Based and Independent

Even though Gilda’s Club is affiliated with the Cancer Support Community, a network of 44 Clubs across North America, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is independently operated by a locally based Board of Directors.  We are our own charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Supported 100% through Charitable Gifts

We support our free programs entirely through cash donations and gifts primarily given through individuals (80%), foundation grants and corporate support (10%), and fundraising events (10%).  We receive no government grants, fees for service, health care reimbursements, or ongoing funds.

Sustained by Volunteer Power

While we have a core professional staff at Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, part of the way we are able to offer our program free of charge is through the incredible efforts of our volunteers – who donate their time in many ways to the Clubhouses and program.

Skillfully Led with a Focus on the Program

Under the leadership and guidance of the Board of Directors and our President, we are proud to say that 79 cents on every dollar raised goes to our programs.  Twelve cents of every dollar helps us raise the funds needed to support our Clubhouse and programs, while the remaining nine cents goes to administration.  One hundred percent of every dollar raised stays right here in West Michigan.