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Rochester's Gilda's Club keeping its name

Posted at: 11/29/2012 11:49 AM
Updated at: 11/29/2012 9:35 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

Don't let the viral stories fool you. The cancer support club called "Gilda's Club" is not changing its name.

After a Gilda's Club in Wisconsin decided to change its name (because they didn't think young people knew who Gilda Radner was) word started to spread that every club had to or was changing its name.

Not true.

We talked with Bob Russell, executive director of Rochester's Gilda's Club Thursday morning.

"We are Gilda's club. We will remain Gilda's club and we're very proud to be Gilda's club and to be able to keep her legacy alive because it was her vision that created this from her own battle she was going through with ovarian cancer," Russell said.

Russell says there was never a mandate from the national organization to change names.

Russell says Gilda's Club is a "brand" in Rochester and he sees it as the organization's mission to remind people, young and old, how important Gilda Radner was and still is to people and families going through cancer.

"A lot of the comedians now that a lot of younger people are watching on Saturday Night Live like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig, they all list Gilda as one of the reason why they do what they do so let's take them old school a little bit," Russell said. "for (Gilda) it was about being surrounded by a community of people who understood cancer because they were going through it not necessarily because they were doctors and knew how to treat it. And she became a voice for not just women, but men, children, anyone who was going through cancer so that they didn't have to go through it alone."