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The Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation was established in 2004, in loving memory of Gloria Gemma, two years after this wife and mother-of-nine lost her courageous fight against breast cancer. A devout woman, Gloria instilled in her children strong family values and the importance of helping people in need. Through their grief, Gloria’s children realized they needed to do something to help fight this horrific disease. They knew that more awareness, better education and increased funding for critical breast health programs could help women and men detect breast tumors earlier, ultimately saving lives.
In 2008, the Foundation opened its Resource and Wellness Center, and Gloria’s eldest daughter, Maria Gemma-Corcelli was named the executive director. Through the tireless efforts of Maria and her dedicated staff, the Foundation has developed and implemented numerous programs and services for people living with breast cancer.
The Foundation has a family atmosphere where hugs are plentiful and emotions are never judged. We are here to help all people who are living with breast cancer, which includes patients, survivors, family members, and friends. We want you to know that you are not alone, and we are here to help.
Please take a moment to look at the free programs and services currently being offered, by clicking here.
For more information, please call 401-861-HERO (4376) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maria Gemma Corcelli
Maria Gemma Corcelli is the Executive Director of the Foundation. Before she took on the role of executive director, she logged hundreds of volunteer hours for the organization while working full-time as a property manager, in the real estate division of her family’s business. It was through her tireless efforts that the Foundation’s Resource and Wellness Center was opened in early 2008. Maria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Psychology from Providence College (Providence, RI), and she has been a life-long student receiving certifications in mediation, non-violence training, and ministry—just to name a few. She has also taken numerous classes on nutrition and integrative therapies. Her degree, continuing education classes and 25 years as a property manager have given Maria a unique opportunity to be involved with diverse populations and cultures, and have allowed her to develop skills and sensitivity working with people from all different backgrounds and ethnicities. This ability, coupled with her extensive business acumen and management skills has enabled Maria to build valuable community and business partnerships, and grow programs and services offered by the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.
Director of Development
Gary Calvino serves as Director of Development for the Foundation. Prior to joining Gloria Gemma, Gary was the Chief Relationship Officer for Peer-to-Peer Advisors, an organization dedicated to matchmaking and facilitating groups of business leaders of small businesses. He served as Director of Development, and as Director of Special Events, for Waterfire Providence, a non-profit arts organization. He has taken leadership roles on the Board of Directors of several non-profits including; Apeiron Institute for Environmental Living, School One, Cambodian Society of Rhode Island, Downtown Merchants Association, Community Staffing Resources, Peace Flag Project, Leadership Rhode Island, and was appointed by the Mayor of the City of Providence to the Clean Energy Task Force. Gary serves on a number of cancer related groups, including the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in Rhode Island and the Pawtucket Cancer Control Task Force. A graduate of the University of Connecticut with a major in Business Administration, he has continued his education with such international experts as Dale Carnegie, Brian Tracey, Steven Covey, Denis Waitley, and Tony Robbins.
Director of Signature Events & Operations
Bryan Sawyer is the Director of Special Events for the Foundation. In his role, Bryan oversees all of the Foundation’s public awareness and fundraising events, as well as, day-to-day operations of the foundation. Within his role, Bryan is the Executive Producer of the Foundation’s signature event, Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™. This breast cancer awareness event brings over 100,000 people to the City of Providence each October. Previously, Bryan was the Director of Special Events for the famed art installation WaterFire Providence. Bryan specializes in Event Production Management, Technical Production Management & Operations Management. Bryan has been a member of the International Special Events Society (ISES) since 2005. He has served for many years on the Rhode Island chapter’s board as the Director of Administration (2 terms), VP of Membership (2 terms), President-Elect (1 term) and as chapter President. Bryan graduated from Johnson & Wales University (Providence, RI) in 2005 with a degree in Hotel Management with a concentration in Event/Entertainment Management. His passion is in Public Event/Festival Management. He has consulted for a number of non-profit organizations and lectures about special events and public event management for such groups as the Volunteer Center of Rhode Island and Johnson & Wales University.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Maureen DiPiero is the Community Outreach Coordinator and Health Educator for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and Program Manager for the Rhode Island Cancer Council. She is a graduate of Rhode Island College and received her Master’s Degree from Emmanuel College in Boston. She has been involved with cancer education for the last 13 years, as well as helping cancer patients find necessary resources. Maureen is the coordinator for the Foundation’s Hope Bus. Though her work history is varied, Maureen feels most at home on the Hope Bus.
Strategic Partnerships & Gloria Gemma 5K Coordinator
Lynn Simon is the driving force behind the Gloria Gemma 5K and serves as the event’s Coordinator. She also works with strategic partnership development, and assists in finding and maintaining sponsors, vendors and event partners. She also assists in proposal and contract preparation. In addition to aiding in technical support for the Foundation, she maintains the donor database. Lynn has 15 years’ experience in travel and sales, and volunteered at the Foundation for nearly a year, before joining the organization full-time.
Carol Ann Donnelly
Office Manager & Survivor
Carol Ann Donnelly is a two-time breast cancer survivor and writer. She is a contributing author in the organization's first book, Journey from Despair to Hope, and she has written numerous articles for the Foundation, including special edition features in “Rhode Island Monthly” magazine. She also manages the office, as well as coordinates the Foundation's volunteers and interns. In addition, she assists with event planning and program development, and oversees third-party fundraising. Carol holds a degree in English Education from Plymouth State University (Plymouth, N H), and has continuing education certificates in grant proposal writing and Six Sigma Greenbelt. She has over twenty-five years’ experience in education, business and sales.
Young Survivor Program Coordinator
Mandy Zito is the Young Survivor Program Coordinator. She is responsible for the development and implementation of programs specifically designed for young breast cancer survivors and their families. She also provides administrative support to the Foundation, and assists with the coordination and scheduling for the Foundation's annual Celebrate Life, Celebrate Hope calendar. Prior to joining the Gloria Gemma team Mandy was an early childhood education teacher working with special needs children. In 2009, Mandy was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, which proved to be a pivotal point in her life. She decided to change career paths, and returned to school. She holds a degree in Human Development and Family Services from the University of Rhode Island, and interned with the Foundation before she was asked to join the team full-time in the summer of 2012.
East Bay Community Outreach Liaison
She worked for the Coast Guard before coming to the Foundation. She has been instrumental in establishing the first Garden of Hope at Bristol’s new community center, and she played an integral role in the Foundation’s participation at the Bristol 4th of July Pre-parade. She works to bring programs to the East Bay, such as gentle yoga and the Hope Bus.
Joseph Gemma has been a board member since 2004. He has been a faculty member at the Providence College School of Business since 1978. He is a member of the Human Resource Management Association of RI and Southern RI Human Resource Council.
Robert Ventura was elected to the Board of Directors in 2004, and served one term as Treasurer. He has extensive project management experience. He has played an integral role at every Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™, as well as the Liberty Mutual Golf Invitational, a successful fundraiser for the Foundation.
Jane Pace is an Assistant Vice President & Senior Operations Management for Bank of America. She is a committed volunteer, giving hundreds of hours of her time every year. She plays a critical leadership role at all our major events, including the Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™.
Kerri Gemma is a committed volunteer who hosts the Pink Angels Party and helps plan Bras for a Cause—both fundraising events for the Foundation. She has been a realtor for 20 years, and is Vice President of Membership for the Northern Rhode Island Women’s Council of Realtors. She is also a member of the Greater Providence Board of Realtors.
Salvatore Molica, MD
Salvatore Molica, MD is a primary care physician who specializes in family medicine. Since 1992, he has been a Clinical Professor at Boston University. He is the former Medical Director of Codman Square Health Center.
Joan Petteruti has over 25 years’ experience as a property manager. She heads the merchandise sales at the Flames of Hope: A Celebration of Life™ and she gives many hours of her time and talent throughout the year to help the Foundation, at their events.
To raise breast cancer awareness, increase breast health education, enhance the quality of life for breast cancer patients, as well as their families and friends, and generate funding for local breast health programs