Chronicle-Tribune Article - March 15, 2023 Cancer Services of Grant County (CSGC) has had a rough start to the year but wants people to know it is still open and serving the community. Over the holidays during the extreme cold of Christmas weekend, like many people and organizations, burst pipes caused some damage. A neighbor’s pipes burst and leaked through the adjoining wall for the whole weekend, leading to a significant amount of water damage. Cancer Services of Grant County got to work, however, and ripped out flooring, cabinetry and other items damaged by water to begin the repairs.
Unfortunately, the water damage was just the beginning. At the beginning of February, a vehicle ran into the front of the building, causing extensive damage to the exterior and interior. Rocky Whitehead, Executive Director of CSGC, said thankfully, the person who sat at the desk by the window that was hit had just left the room, so nobody was injured.
The inspector said it was unsafe for anyone to work in the space, but since CSGC has two suites, it combined everything into the undamaged suite and has continued to operate during repairs. “It took us a couple weeks to move over here, to get kind of a new sense of normal,” Whitehead said. “There was a lot of ‘are you guys still open?’ So we’ve been trying to (say) ‘we’re still here, don’t mind our mess, we’re kind of shuffled around, but we’re still here helping folks.’”
The upheaval has made it difficult to plan for this year’s Walk of Hope. Walk of Hope is CSGC’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at 101 N. Washington St. in Marion at Riverside Community Federal Credit Union. Since CSGC has been focused on repairs while still meeting the needs of clients, it has not been able to promote or market the walk as much as usual.
“It’s absolutely affected our day-to-day operations and also our fundraising,” Whitehead said. “We’ve historically had anywhere from 3000 to 4000 people register for this event each year, so that’s one of our biggest fundraisers to be able to provide that help that we do to folks. So that’s really my biggest worry, is promoting the walk and making sure that doesn’t take a big hit.”
The number of people currently registered for the walk is a little behind the typical numbers CSGC sees at this point of the year, which Whitehead described as a red flag for him.
Registration for Walk of Hope 2023 is $5 and an additional fee of $15-18 includes a t-shirt. This year, the shirts for the walk say, “in this family, no one walks alone.”
Whitehead looks at Walk of Hope as a big support system for the cancer community in Grant County. “When people come in and they register with us, we consider them a part of our Cancer Services family for as long as they need us,” Whitehead said. “I’ve always wanted to see a huge group out there of folks to be able to show the people facing cancer in this community that they have a bigger support system of folks around them than what they originally anticipated.”
Those interested in showing support at Walk of Hope 2023 can register online at GrantCountyCancer.org or in the office at 305 S Norton Ave. in Marion.