Our Founding

In 1989, Katherine Gioia, then four years old, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. While Katherine was being treated at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Anne, her mother, began doing volunteer work in the newly created Development Department established to raise private sector financial support for the Institute. She came up with the idea of the Alliance, Roswell's first community-wide volunteer organization, as a memorial to Katherine, who lost her battle with cancer less than one year after being diagnosed.

Anne knew she could not do this project alone and asked her sister-in-law, Donna Gioia, to co-found this organization. The idea was to call on some friends and associates and do something nice for a facility that had become a big part of their lives. In 1990, they compiled a list of 55 friends and business people they hoped would be interested in an organization to raise funds and public awareness of Roswell Park. They were overwhelmed when 50 said "yes." Today, the Alliance has more than 300 volunteers.

In 1991, the Alliance Foundation was established to manage all donations made and contributed for the benefit of Roswell Park.

The Roswell Park Alliance Community Advisory Board sponsors a variety of events, from a black-tie gala that attracts 1,200, to a bike ride, golf tournament and auction, and the sale of holiday cards designed by pediatric patients.

"It evolved into something I never imagined. I'm amazed at how much people are willing to give of themselves to make a difference," said Anne Gioia.

For volunteer opportunities with the Roswell Park Alliance Community Advisory Board, please call 716-845-8788.