Mark Shapiro, executive director of the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee will be honored with the presentation of the first annual Lee Kass Cancer Support Community Philanthropic Award, which is presented to an individual or organization who has demonstrated benevolence and compassion to individuals and their families who are living with cancer. Following the closing of the Gilda’s Club flood-damaged clubhouse last August, Shapiro stepped forward and proposed that the free cancer support program could continue at the JCC. Since that time, various cancer support groups, lectures and healthy lifestyles activities are held at the Jewish Community Center.
Shapiro will be honored at a fashion show and dinner on Thursday, September 15 at the Pfister Hotel. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception and dinner, followed by the “Show of Support” fashion show made popular over the past six years at the Gilda’s Club spring luncheon event. Models for the show, all Gilda’s Club program participants and cancer survivors, will take the runway in the latest fall fashions while accompanied by the person(s) who have provided critical emotional and social support throughout their journey.
The evening will culminate with the official kick-off of the organization’s Community Challenge Grant Campaign and an invitation for guests to participate. The challenge grant opportunity stems from a donation in 2010 by area businessman Stanley Kass, who pledged funds to develop the Gilda’s Club new community-based program model of social and emotional support. Recently, Kass pledged additional funds as part of a community-wide challenge grant, matching every donation dollar for dollar up to $250,000 in an effort to insure that free cancer support continues in Greater Milwaukee. The Challenge Grant will continue through June 2012.
The mission of Gilda’s Club Southeastern Wisconsin, Inc. is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer in Greater Milwaukee are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.