After serving the Quad Cities for more than 20 years, Gilda's Club's is due for an upgrade. The non-profit organization is moving out of their iconic clubhouse into local hospitals.
Thousands of cancer patients and survivors have come through the clubhouse's red door, for things like yoga classes and support group meetings in a cozy environment. Executive Director Joy McMeekan says selling the clubhouse was the right decision for everybody.
"It was not just a financial decision," she says. "It came down to how we thought we could reach the most people and really expand our services out into the community."
Both health systems in the Quad Cities will have custom spaces in their hospitals in order to reach more patients. Construction of their space in Moline at UnityPoint Health - Trinity is wrapping up now, and is expected to open to members at the start of February. Construction at Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park in Davenport is expected to begin by Fall 2021.
"By the hospital is doing what their experts can, treating the disease, and we can help the whole person, it's a win-win for everybody," McMeekan says.
McMeekan says each hospital will meet the organization's core components, with space for support groups, educational workshops, kid and young adult rooms and multi-purpose rooms for healthy living programs.
It's a $1.8 million capital project, and Gilda's Club is at about 40 percent of their fundraising goal. McMeekan says she's confident that support from the entire community will come through.
WQAD's parent company, TEGNA, awards local non-profit organization grants twice a year, in the communities it serves. The TEGNA Foundation contributed $5,000 to Gilda's Club's capital project.