Gilda’s Club Seattle gets boost
Puget Sound Business Journal
By Patti Payne
Gilda’s Club Seattle, a cancer support group, has been given a good prognosis for survival.
The ten year old non-profit, founded locally by its executive director Anna Gottlieb, found itself ailing financially for a variety of reasons.
“Grants were drying up over the past years,” explains Gottlieb, “and donations were down a little. And event (proceeds) were also down a little. Everything coming in was down a little, and that added up to a lot,” she says.
Gilda’s Club Seattle has served about 100,000 people touched by cancer since 2001. Gottlieb says 89 cents of every dollar goes to their programs.
So a few months ago, Gottlieb emailed one of Gilda’s Club Seattle’s biggest supporters – Dr. Jim Bianco, oncologist, and founder and CEO of Cell Therapeutics Inc., asking for suggestions of how to keep going in these few difficult months before the group’s two biggest fundraisers: a fashion show scheduled for May and a golf tournament in June.
“(Dr. Bianco) has been a big supporter from the time we opened our doors,” says Gottlieb. “He understands that what we do complements his work,” she adds.
Dr. Bianco gathered a small, trusted group immediately – his wife Dr. Sue Bianco, Ken Hatch, Mike Kunath and Kate Harrison. The group came up with a fundraiser that essentially saved the day, raising $66,000 in an April 21 event held at the Chihuly Boathouse. Dale and Leslie Chihuly donated the venue. Restaurateurs Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s and Luc, and William Belickis of Mistral Kitchen, donated their services. De Lille Cellars and Owen Roe Winery pitched in, and the host committee drew 120 guests, including NFL football player Bryce Fisher, a big Gilda’s Club supporter who flew in from Chicago an hour before this event.