Volunteers make our mission possible

Ali DeCamillis September 18, 2019

It’s hard not to brag about our awesome team of volunteers. They are amazing! Without the dedication, support, and talent of hundreds of volunteers, our small staff of six would never be able to offer the 130+ activities we offer each month (check out the new October-November-December program calendar here).

Boasting nearly 400 individuals, Gilda’s Club has volunteers in many different roles: Gilda Greeters, outreach volunteers, committee members, clubhouse cleaning crews, program instructors, event support, admin support, interns… the list goes on. Whether they are teaching an education session or stuffing envelopes for our annual breakfast, each role plays a vital function in the overall organization. We truly couldn’t do the work we do without our volunteers! Our doors are open to people touched by cancer because they contribute time and talent to assure that’s possible.

In August, we celebrated the hard work of our Gilda’s Club Twin Cities volunteers by hosting our Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at Wayzata Brew Works. We were able to honor all of our volunteers at this event – namely our crew of 2018 award recipients. Drum roll, please…below are the superstar GCTC volunteers and the awards they won:

  • Most Number of Hours Volunteered:
    • Wendy Petersen (360)
    • Glenda Hawkins (283)
    • Gerri Melnick (279)
  • Corporate Volunteer Partner of the Year: Allianz Life Insurance
  • Program Partner of the Year: Mental Health Systems (MHS)
  • Program Instructor of the Year: Rob Muir
  • Spirit of Gilda Award: Debbie Johnson
  • Community Champion Award: Julie Gansen
  • Janet Kinzler Leadership Award: Renee Garpestad
  • Rookies of the Year:
    • American League: Leslie Zimmerman
    • National League: Jen Scholler

And who is the Gilda’s Club staff champion for all things volunteer? Maddy Rydeen! Maddy has been our fearless Volunteer and Program Coordinator for just over a year. Her passion for volunteers and Gilda’s Club is evident in everything she does. And it is a bittersweet day as we announce Maddy will be off to new adventures in Chicago starting in October. We are sad to see her go, and excited for all the opportunities we know will come her way. Make sure to share some Gilda Gratitude with Maddy before she bids adieu on September 25. We look forward to finding and welcoming our next Volunteer and Communications Coordinator in the near future.

But until we have details to share, if you have a volunteer that makes your day, make sure you let them know it! Thanks Volunteers!



Program Director | Gilda’s Club Twin Cities
Contact Ali at

P.S. – Did you see that we now have a separate Children, Teen and Family calendar? Check it out to see all of the new offering we have in October, November and December!

Published as part of the September 2019 GildaGram Newsletter. Read more here:

September 2019
GildaGram Newsletter
Clubhouse News –
September 2019
Program News –
September 2019
2019 Oct – Nov – Dec
Program Calendar
Shop for Gilda’s
October Fundraiser
October 12, 2019
Family Fall Festival
Memorials, Tributes, and
Program Sponsors
Annual Member Feedback Survey