Daffodil Place fundraising reaches full bloom
It was chilly for late May and the flurries were heavy, but the thermometer on the Daffodil Place sign still rose to the top.
The capital campaign for the cancer hostel announced last Tuesday morning, May 26 it had reached its $7-million goal, and a snowy, yet symbolic, ceremony followed when the last section of the funding meter was coloured in on the Empire Avenue signboard in St. John’s.
The fundraising effort hit its target a year earlier than planned, which surprised the chairman of the Daffodil Place capital campaign.
“It came together really, really well, but in the end, you are sort of relieved because you say you are going to do it, you set the goal, so it’s a big relief,” said John Steele.
He stressed it wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of many.
“We have many businesses towns, cities, community groups, labour groups and individuals make donations, host events, or offer their time as volunteers.”
Peter Dawe is with the provincial division of the Canadian Cancer Society, which will own and operate the 24-room facility built to provide accommodations for cancer patients who have to travel to St. John’s for treatment.
He said he was amazed by the support Daffodil Place has received since the campaign was launched in 2007.
“For it to come together this quickly speaks absolute volumes to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and ... is a reflection of the need that was out there and what they wanted to see,” said Dawe.
Steele said the complex will officially open June 12 and Dawe said they hope to open the doors to patients shortly after that.
He’s expecting up to 500 people will stay there each year and says people have been calling and looking to stay there for months.
“There is a pent-up demand, if you will, and we knew that. That’s why we built the building. We knew there was a great demand and there’d be a great interest in people staying there.”
Although operating such a facility will be new ground for the cancer society, Dawe said his organization knows what it’s getting into and he is not anticipating operational obstacles.
If there is a challenge, he said, “it’s helping people make sure they get through their journey.”