Gilda’s Club to hold Champions of Hope Luncheon in Muscatine

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–When people receive cancer diagnoses, it takes the support of many in the community to help them fight and overcome them. Since 1998, Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities has helped, providing a variety of free supports to people with cancer and their families. In 2013, Gilda’s Club extended their reach down to Muscatine. “In 2013, we saw the need, and the community must have seen the need with all the cancer diagnoses,” said Michele Darland, development director for Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities.

Though they have not held in person events in Muscatine since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they plan to grow their presence in the city once again by hosting their Champions of Hope Luncheon at the Rendezvous (3127 Lucas Street, Muscatine) Aug. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Margaret McCaffery as their featured speaker and Tony Loconsole “Tone” as their emcee.

As Gilda’s Club started planning their return to the Muscatine Community, they immediately thought of McCaffery as their featured speaker. The wife of Iowa Hawkeyes mens basketball coach Fran McCaffery, she has actively worked with the American Cancer Society for many years, after helping one of her sons survive cancer in his teens. McCaffery welcome opportunity to speak, and will prove an engaging presenter for Muscatine residents to learn from.

The afternoon of the luncheon, attendees who have bought tickets in advance may sign in between and 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. They may then enjoy lunch while listening to Loconsole and McCaffery speak. Tickets cost $60 per person or $440 for a table of eight. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets may do so through the Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities website by the end of the day on Aug. 15.

An outstanding event to raise money to support people with cancer in the Muscatine area and to reintroduce Gilda’s Club to the community, Darland hopes many people will purchase tickets and attend. “The proceeds from this event allows us to provide our social and emotional supports to people in Muscatine with cancer,” she emphasized. “It’s an endeavor to engage the Muscatine community and the Muscatine business community.”

Though Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities does not have any additional in person programs planned for Muscatine at the moment, they do welcome Muscatine area residents to take part in their various online programs. Currently, these include guided meditations, slow flow yoga classes, Connecting Through Cancer Support Groups, the Coffee and Canines Support Group, as well as many other groups tailored to people with specific cancers. With each of these programs free to participants, Darland valued that Gilda’s Club can now connect with even more people than ever by harnessing the power of the internet. “We’re almost more accessible than before,” she beamed. Interested participants can find all these programs and more on the Gilda’s Club of the Quad Cities website.

Through the Champions of Hope Luncheon and their online opportunities, Darland believes Gilda’s Club can reengage with people with cancer and their supporters in Muscatine and surrounding cities. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting and offering the programs we offer,” she said.

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