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Gilda's Cup: A Great Smile for a Great Cause

Why Gilda’s Cup? Who’s Gilda? Why comedy?

Gilda Radner was a sunshine in life; she had a passion for making people laugh. Her passion grew her career, and she became one of the original members of NBC’s Saturday Night Live cast. Soon, she was an international sensation; nothing could stop this hilarious woman! Not even cancer.

Yes, Gilda had cancer. However, despite this terrible disease, she still lived the rest of her life with a smile on her face. She never let her situation get the best of her. This attitude is what inspired her psychotherapist and widower to start Gilda’s Club in NYC; here, Gilda’s spirit lived on, as they encouraged those affected by the disease in any way to reach out, and search for a smile. Her spirit continued to grow, and her smile is now nationwide at Gilda’s Clubs all across the country, including our very own Rochester location.

So why Gilda’s Cup?

It started as the inspired brainchild of the student run agency at St. John Fisher College. These students wanted to put their skills to use, and advocate and raise awareness for such a great cause. After many nights of brainstorming, they created Gilda’s Cup, a collegiate comedy improv competition featuring schools from the Greater Rochester Area. After all, what’s a better way to carry on Gilda’s spirit than through humor?

The inaugural event was not easy; much thought and deliberation went into creating this event; as creative students, it was not only about creating an event, it was about creating an event to talk about for years to come. Whether that was the College Improv Teams that competed, coordinated balloon colors, or community outreach, these students really hit this right on target. Raising over $2,000 the first year, expectations were blown out of the water, and the event is continuing to grow!

This year, The Third Annual Gilda’s Cup will take place on Friday, April 1 at St. John Fisher College in Campus Center Mainstage. Hundreds of local Rochester students and community members will gather for an evening of collegiate improv skits, a silent auction, delicious food, and all for a good cause!

The event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online at for $5 for the public and $2 for students, or at the door for the same price.

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