Mission, History & Strategic Plan


The mission of the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes is to create and sustain a community of support for people living with and affected by cancer.

Statement of Inclusion

The Cancer Resource Center seeks to serve all people living with or affected by cancer.  Our goal is to create an inclusive, welcoming community in which the perspectives and needs of all those we serve are heard and respected.

Strategic Plan



A group of nine women (Joan Adler, Meg Ambry, Ned Asta, Andi Gladstone, Jackie Livingston, Nancy Lazarus, Anne McLaughlin, Ba Stopha, and Annie Wilson) began planning what would become the Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance (IBCA).

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IBCA became an organized, non-profit corporation.

First article in newspaper.

First support group.

Resource Center opened at 706 W. Green Street

First Walkathon raised $4,035.


First Tompkins County Quilters Guild benefit auction, “Quilted with Care,” raised $27,000.


Office moved to Women’s Community Building. Resource Center open three afternoons a week. Drop-in support group established.

Bob Riter writes about his breast cancer experience in Newsweek Magazine.


Resource Center hours expanded to five days a week.


The first “Plants for Life” sale sponsored by Ithaca Area Gardeners raised $12,000.


Andi Gladstone, founder and long-time leader of IBCA, steps down to become Director of NYS Breast Cancer Network, and Christine Sanchirico appointed executive director.

“Power Play for Prevention” begun by Sam Paolini of the Cornell Men’s Hockey Team with the support of Tompkins Trust Company.


Lower literacy breast cancer brochures developed in collaboration with Literacy Volunteers of Tompkins County.

First edition of IBCA E-News goes out to 50 readers.

Workshop on counseling persons with cancer held for area mental health professionals.

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IBCA video, Because no one should face breast cancer alone, created by volunteers Baseema and Ward Krkoska, wins National Public Access Award.

New workshop offered to the community: “I need to take a month off: Cancer and your job.”

Hester Hill Schnipper, Chief of Social Work Oncology at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, presents a workshop for mental health professionals on “Facing the tiger together: Working with women with advanced cancer.”

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IBCA’s first corporate campaign, chaired by Steve Garner, President and CEO of Tompkins Trust Company, raises more than $60,000.

A six-session education series is offered in collaboration with Hospicare & Palliative Care Services.

A grant from the NYS Department of Health begins a pilot program by which assistance is provided to Cayuga Medical Center patients at the hospital.

Mission expands to include gynecologic cancers and surrounding counties.


IBCA purchases 612 West State Street to serve as permanent home.

Shawn Galbreath becomes executive director.


IBCA’s new home is renovated with considerable assistance from local labor unions and support from local businesses.

IBCA moves into its new home on January 30, 2007.

Friday noon group for women begins.

Name changed to the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes to reflect our service to everyone affected by cancer.

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Cancer screening offered to the uninsured and underinsured through the Cancer Services Program.

Ithaca Garden Club installs Victorian Garden.


First yoga class.

First water therapy class.


Bob Riter appointed Executive Director of Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes.

Lynda Myers Interior Design event “10 Steps to a Perfect Room” held at the Lake Watch Inn to benefit CRCFL.

5K Run added to the Walkathon.

Men’s Breakfast Club begins.


CRCFL writes “‘Now What?’ Life After Cancer Treatment” guide to survivorship.

First Young Adult Support Group.


First Annual Adventure Day for Men.

Collaboration begins with doctoral students researching cancer at Cornell University.

First group of volunteer financial counselors trained with the assistance of a grant from the Park Foundation.


Work on the Healing Garden begins, under the direction of Volunteer Lee Ginenthal.

Colorectal group begins.

CRCFL wins a “To-Go” Award (Town-Gown) from Cornell University for the innovative collaboration between CRC and doctoral students at Cornell who are involved in cancer research.


Bob Riter’s book, When Your Life is Touched by Cancer, is published by Hunter House and is distributed nationally.Book Cover

Back porch reconstructed to make the building wheelchair accessible.

Downstairs bathroom renovated and made wheelchair accessible thanks to a grant from the Youth and Philanthropy Program of United Way of Tompkins County.

Monthly E-News is sent to more than 8,000 recipients.

Walkathon & 5K Run raises $184,000.

First CRC Golf Tournament held.


“One Funny Ithaca Story,” organized by Gary Stewart, gently pokes fun at Ithaca and raises money for CRC.

Caregiver group begins.

CRC “Cares about Kids” begins.

Wheelchair lift installed and back porch rebuilt thanks to Welliver Construction, HOLT Architects,  and the SERTOMA Club of Ithaca.

Garage converted into three-season meeting space thanks to the JM McDonald Foundation.


CRC hosts local Cancer Moonshot summit in collaboration with national Cancer Moonshot summit under leadership of Vice President Joe Biden.

CRC wins second “ToGo” Award from Cornell for collaborating with Cornell’s Translator-Interpreter Program in developing “Cancer Cancer in the United States: Common Practices and Expectations.”

Tall with TagWith the help of Iron Design, we update our website, logo, colors, brochures, and strengthen our branding.

First Evening of Remembrance held to honor our loved ones.

unnamed (2) Healing Garden dedicated.





First Multicultural Fashion Show held at the Kitchen Theatre on April 9.Historic Ithaca

CRC wins a 2017 Preservation Award from Historic Ithaca for the creation of our healing garden and the rehabilitation of our back porch and garage.



Related History

Click here to read a brief history of breast cancer advocacy.

Click here to view a brief video about the beginnings of the Ithaca Breast Cancer Alliance.

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