Gilda’s Club President Honored with “Humanitarian Award”
Jackie Fortus, The Marcus Group, Inc.
Immediate Release – February 15, 2011
HACKENSACK, NJ – The Garden State Woman Awards Committee recently awarded Saddle River resident Ruth Dugan, board president of Gilda’s Club NNJ, with its “Humanitarian Award” in its 6th Annual Garden State Woman of the Year program. Dugan will be honored at the annual luncheon on Friday, March 18, 2011 at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park.
The Garden State Woman Awards honor remarkable women who demonstrate exceptional leadership in their professional lives, are committed to making a difference in the lives of others through their community service, and serve as inspirational role models for other women.
“I am extremely honored and flattered to receive the Garden State Woman “Humanitarian Award.” I am accepting this honor on behalf of Gilda’s Club for its humanitarian efforts in making sure no one has to face cancer alone,” said Dugan.
Gilda’s Club NNJ is a Hackensack-based cancer support organization offering social and emotional support services, free-of-charge, to anyone affected by cancer.
When Dugan, a mother of six children, became board president of the nonprofit in April 2009, the clubhouse was on the verge of closing its doors. It needed the leadership of someone who understood the challenges associated with reviving a diminishing nonprofit and also needed to quickly address the drop-off in funding.
Dugan recruited new leadership to the board of directors, appointing diverse business executives in the community to reenergize the organization. She then tapped approximately $500,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and utilized donated materials and labor from local organizations to transform the Gilda’s clubhouse into a chemical-free structure – a boon for cancer patients, whose immune systems are frequently compromised.
She also led an initiative for a designation by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs (NJSFWC), and Gilda’s Club was selected as its special state project for 2010-2012. And most recently, Dugan utilized a $440,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to open a satellite clubhouse in Newark. The new facility will allow Gilda’s Club to fulfill its long-standing goal of providing support services to more cancer victims in low-income, inner city communities.
Since Dugan assumed the role of board president, Gilda’s Club has emerged from virtual bankruptcy, regained financial stability, rebuilt its board of directors, increased its visibility and established itself as one of the leading service providers and charitable organizations in northern New Jersey.
Dugan’s nomination for the Garden State Woman “Humanitarian Award” was led by Patricia Whitehouse, president of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs.
More information about Gilda’s Club NNJ is available at www.gildasclubnnj.org or by calling (201) 457-1670.
About Gilda’s Club Northern New Jersey: