The Lakes District office of the Canadian Cancer Society will be closing its doors at the end of June 2016.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the costs to operate the Burns Lake office is approximately $11,000, which represents 40 per cent of the total donations provided by local residents.
Although the local office will be closing, Rhoda Anderson, communications co-ordinator with the Lakes District office of the Canadian Cancer Society, said services will continue to be provided in the Lakes District.
“We’re not closing down activity in the community; just the office,” she explained. “Just as we’ve always done, the people of the Lakes District will continue to support local events.”
The daffodil month will continue to be take place in Burns Lake and the cops for cancer tour de north will still be making their bi-annual pit stop in Burns Lake.
“We’ll be there along with the community to cheer them on,” said Anderson. “Money raised in Burns Lake will continue to make the greatest impact against all cancers.”
Anderson said the growing and aging population in B.C., along with the changing way the public interacts with organizations, has created an awareness that money from donations need to be spent differently.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, the number of new cancer cases in Canada is expected to rise approximately 40 per cent in the next 15 years and 32 per cent in B.C. This has led the society to review all of its operations across the country.
The funds saved from the closure of the Lakes District office will be directed to supporting the Canadian Cancer Society’s mission.
“This was a very difficult decision but ultimately we recognized that we need to find more progressive ways to engage with the Burns Lake community without relying on bricks and mortar,” said Margaret Jones-Bricker, northern regional director with the Canadian Cancer Society.
The Lakes District office is operated by a team of 10 volunteers and no staff members.
“We are so grateful to the committed and passionate volunteers we have in Burns Lake who have made great strides in helping us prevent cancer, fund critical cancer research and deliver compassionate support programs for people facing cancer,” said Jones-Bricker. “We want to continue to work with each and every one of them in order to bring our mission to Burns Lake and to continue to make a difference to the lives of those affected by cancer.”
The closure of the office on June 30 will not affect the society’s work to support cancer patients, their caregivers and families in and around Burns Lake.
Information and support will also be available through the regional office in Prince George and information is available 24 hours a day at cancer.ca or through the society’s cancer information service at 1-888-939-3333.