The inaugural Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition, benefiting Gilda’s Club of Rochester, will be held at the St. John Fisher College Cleary Auditorium on Friday, April 4 at 6 p.m.
The competition is a first time event for Gilda’s Club of Rochester and was created through a partnership that began with a service learning project in Professor Kathy Marchaesi’s Introduction to Advertising class in the spring of 2013. Students found the project meaningful, and she encouraged them to continue their work through involvement in the Department of Media and Communication’s student run Public Relations, Integrated Marketing, and Advertising agency (PRIMA).
Recognizing the value and service they could provide to Gilda’s Club, PRIMA officially began planning the event that would become Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition during the summer in 2013. “We have a real result supporting a great cause that is very rewarding, especially in the case of Gilda’s Club,” says Paige Willson ’15, one of the many students who joined PRIMA and are helping to make the event a reality.
The student organizers hope the event becomes a tradition in helping to fund and build awareness of the 1,200 programs Gilda’s Club of Rochester operates locally each year. All of the programs the organization provides are free to those who live with or are affected by the impacts of cancer. “We’re hoping this becomes something that can carry on year after year and not just be a one time thing,” says Bob Russell, Executive Director of Gilda’s Club Rochester.
Russell began working with Fisher students in order to come up with a creative way of reaching out and sharing the Gilda’s Club mission with young people. Young people are also affected by the impact cancer has on our community, and Russell wants to make sure they know that there is support, through a multitude of programs, available at Gilda’s Club.
According to the organization, approximately 17,000 Monroe County men, women, teens, and children are affected by cancer each year and it’s the little things, like laughter, that can make the biggest difference. “Laughter is a big part of what goes on here,” Russell says. “You talk to people who are living through cancer – laughter really does help them, and of course, Gilda’s legacy is as a comedian, so we try to find a way to bring that together.”
The Gilda’s Cup competition keeps Russell’s sentiments in mind, “laughter is the best medicine.” The event was created with a goal of bringing other area colleges together, and will include competing improv troupes from Fisher, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and State University of New York at Oswego. Each team will have 15 minutes to showcase their Improv skills, and the Gilda’s Cup Champions will be determined by an audience vote.
“Gilda’s Cup is an incredible opportunity for college students from local schools to come together in support of a noble cause. Students will have the opportunity to showcase their talents in a fun and competitive environment while supporting an essential community organization,” says Rob Meacham ’14.
Tickets for the Gilda’s Cup Collegiate Comedy Improv Competition are $5.00 and can be purchased online at bit.ly/gildascup.
Gilda’s Club Mission
To create welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer – men, women, teens and children – along with their families and friends.
Our innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing networking and support groups, workshops, education and social activities.
More about PRIMA
All Fisher students are welcome to become a member of PRIMA. There are no membership fees and students are encouraged to join the open agency as both an extracurricular and experiential learning activity. Students may also opt to make their involvement in PRIMA count toward 1 credit as an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Practicum.