Gilda’s Club changes name, logo

Gilda’s Club Rochester has changed its name to Cancer Support Community Rochester to better reflect what the not-for-profit organization does.

Cancer Support Community Rochester provides free supports to people with all types of cancer as well as their families and friends. An essential complement to medical care, Cancer Support Community Rochester provides support groups, healthy lifestyle programs, workshops and educational and social programs. Programs are offered in person as well as virtually.

The organization also unveiled a new website at and a new logo, as well as a new sign at its offices located at 255 Alexander St. in Rochester.

“This is an exciting day for our organization, as we change our name to reflect our understanding that community is stronger than cancer,” said CEO Melinda Merante. “While our name is changing, our mission stays the same. We remain dedicated to ensuring that no one faces cancer alone and that anyone affected by any type of cancer can receive non-medical, emotional and social support at no cost.”

The organization was founded in 1959 as Cancer Action and became known as Gilda’s Club in 2000.

The nonprofit serves more than 5,000 people annually and offers more than 1,000 free programs annually to adults, teens and children who are affected by cancer. Cancer Support Community Rochester is an affiliate of a global nonprofit network of 175 Cancer Support Community and Gilda’s Club locations.

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L3Harris awards grants to six local charities

Six area nonprofits have received social impact grants from L3Harris Technologies Inc. as part of the manufacturer’s effort to provide relief to communities it resides in.

The L3Harris Foundation this month distributed grants in 19 states to organizations that applied for funds to address a wide range of needs, including the digital divide, food insecurity, veteran aid, mentorships for STEM students, economic opportunities for small businesses and more.

Local recipients include Cameron Community Ministries, Gigi’s Playhouse, Gilda’s Club, Rochester Education Foundation, Warrior Salute Veteran Services and Young Women’s College Prep Foundation.

“The pandemic has placed a tremendous strain on all facets of our Rochester community,” said Dana Mehnert, president, communication systems for L3Harris. The division is based in Rochester. “The L3Harris Foundation social impact grants will help provide some relief to those most in need, especially students, parents, communities and small businesses in areas where our employees work and live.”

Cameron Community Ministries’ goal is to serve the community and to break the cycle of generational poverty by teaching independence. The grant will fund full day and hybrid models of academic support for Rochester City School District students during the COVID crisis.

Gilda’s Club will use the grant to provide cancer transitions and survivorship classes to patients in the wake of COVID-19, while REF plans to use the grant to promote college empowerment and FAFSA aid, which has been absent due to the pandemic.

Warrior Salute Veteran Services will provide no-cost telehealth and tele-therapies for veterans dealing with isolation and depressions due to COVID-19, and the Young Women’s College Prep Foundation will use the grant to buy new Chromebooks for students in grades 7 through 12 that attend its charter school.

In addition to the grants, L3Harris has provided more than $450 million in accelerated payments to small-business suppliers in 45 states to sustain the nation’s supply chain. Company employees have volunteered to provide respirators, free communications apps and STEM-oriented “Tech in 10” videos for students.

Staffers also are volunteering to assist organizations through the company’s L3Harris Investing for Tomorrow volunteer program, which supports numerous initiatives throughout the year.

In New York state, L3Harris has donated $267,000 to charities. The company has 20 locations and more than 5,000 employees statewide.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer