Williams Lake, B.C. cancer society branch to remain open

It was on the brink of shutting down, but after a community partner offered to help out, the Canadian Cancer Society office in Williams Lake will stay open.

Office was set to close Dec. 22, offered free rent for a year

The Williams Lake Canadian Cancer Society office is located in the Kiwanis Park seniors centre. (Google Streetview)

It was on the brink of shutting down, but after a community partner offered to help out, the Canadian Cancer Society office in Williams Lake will stay open. 

"We were down to the wire," said Nancy Shelford, the cancer society's northern B.C. volunteer engagement co-ordinator.

Building expenses and administrative costs made the office too expensive to remain open.

The branch was set to close on Dec. 22, but thanks to the Kiwanis Park senior centre, where the cancer society's office is located, they'll be able to operate for at least one more year.

The centre offered the society free rent for 2018.

"Keeping it stable and at the seniors centre and having that continuity is obviously a great thing," Shelford said.

Shelford said the rent is about $300 each month, so this offer saves the Canadian Cancer Society thousands of dollars in 2018. 

Sharon Mallard became a volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She said she often utilized the Williams Lake office, stopping by to talk to volunteers.

"Sometimes I would cry with them, sometimes they'd just listen," she said.

"I just wanted to give back some of the things I've received."

Mallard said she's much happier knowing the office will be around for at least one more year. 

Shelford said the seniors centre will review the situation at the end of 2018.  She hopes the community will use the office and show their support to demonstrate how integral the Canadian Cancer Society is in Williams Lake.

"We have a very small community and our need for support is great," she said.

With files from Jenifer Norwell