Dear Gilda’s members, volunteers and supporters,
The last few months have held a variety of challenges, haven’t they? One thing I want you to know is that throughout the challenges, Gilda’s Club Madison has continued to view your safety as critically important.
Shortly before the Safer at Home order took effect in Wisconsin, we moved all of our adult programming to a virtual platform and put our children’s programming on hold. We have been happy to see that the virtual shift was well received, with most programs experiencing better-than-expected engagement of members. We’ve been able to continue to expand virtual programming, including now offering virtual youth programs.
Data is starting to show a downward trend in new cases of COVID-19 across the state, and we are starting to see Wisconsin communities move forward with their reopening strategies. Like many other community organizations, Gilda’s Club Madison has been working on a Responsible Reopening Plan that moves us toward the day when programs will resume in the clubhouse.
However, as you might expect, the gradual ability for members to return to the clubhouse for initial limited programming will lag behind other businesses. Our timeline is based on the immunocompromised members we serve, the ability of our staff to adequately prepare the clubhouse for re-entry, data and recommendations from health experts, and the comfort and readiness of our Gilda’s community. We will re-open our physical doors at a pace that respects our members, while recognizing the vulnerabilities they face.
We feel confident in our cautious timeline because our programming on visual and audio platforms has been well received. In April and May, we welcomed 24 new members, hosted 173 virtual programs and experienced more than 1200 visits. And that number is on the rise.
In addition to moving our programming to a virtual platform, we chose not to host our Backyard BBQ and Over The Edge fundraising events, causing us to lose a critical source of revenue. If you planned to be involved in either of these events, I invite you to support Backyard BBQ by giving through our Dine & Donate initiative. Or register now for our Over The Edge 2021 urban rappelling fundraising event and raise dollars over the next year to help ensure that no one in our community faces cancer alone. Right now we are continuing to move forward with our fall events, Red Doors Golf and Gilda’s Run/Walk, with adjustments for our new reality.
Although we continue to face challenges, please know that we are committed to serving individuals and families impacted by cancer. Through these challenging times, we seek new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our members. In the next few days, members will receive a survey that will help guide our timeline and program offerings. Please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
We look forward to the days when we can return to the clubhouse and see your faces. Until then, be safe, be kind, and we’ll see you on Zoom!
All my best,
Gilda’s Club Madison