Mission & History

Alice Gaynes Photo
Alice Gaynes

The Long Island League to Abolish Cancer (L.I.L.A.C.) is a New York State Chartered charitable institution. We were chartered in January 1967 by ten women. Over the years we have grown to over 150 dedicated members.

Our mission is to raise funds for direct contributions to cancer research projects in the New York metropolitan area.

In 1969, we amended our name to pay tribute to Alice Gaynes who died of skeletal muscle cancer the previous year. Alice was the six-year-old daughter of one of our original members.

We are a unique organization.  L.I.L.A.C. is an independent, all volunteer organization. We have no paid staff members, we rent no office space, and we keep our expenses, such as postage and printing costs, to a minimum.

More than 95% of the money L.I.L.A.C. raises is donated directly in the form of research grants to purchase specific pieces of laboratory equipment.


Our street-The corner of Old Country Road and Manetto Hill Road in Plainview, New York is re-named in honor of L.I.L.A.C. This annual honor takes place in April, cancer month.

Each year, research hospitals in the metropolitan New York area — Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, North Shore Hospital, Stony Brook Hospital, Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, and Albert Einstein Cancer Center, to name a few—submit requests for laboratory equipment they need to carry on vital research in the fight against cancer.

After review by our Board, we award the maximum amount that our annual fundraising allows. At our June meeting, we present our grants directly to the doctors. Over the years, our organization has awarded grants to purchase equipment for research in many types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, pediatric cancer, leukemia, and brain tumors.

Our teen auxiliary, L.I.L.A.C. Teens Against Cancer, holds their own fundraisers each year, the proceeds of which are awarded to research grants chosen from those submitted to L.I.L.A.C.