The core group discovered key supporters who pledged donations to a “leadership fund.” Soon the organizers created a foundation and a campaign committee of hundreds to approach other residents for matching support.
The first center opened in 1979 on property purchased from the Douglas Community Hospital. More recently, a campaign attracted donations and grants to build a new, better-equipped facility that opened in 2009. As an independent, charitable program, the center provides outpatient radiation and chemotherapy, nutritional counsel, and other volunteer services. A prime motive for investing in community cancer care was to save travel and lodging costs, enabling families instead to direct their limited resources and emotional energy to recovery and rehabilitation.
The first foundation chairman, John Loosley, credits good organization for success, citing the medical achievements of the cancer center, and how the community built the capacity to help families focus on hope close to home.
Sources: Hagedorn, Tammy. Personal Interview. 6 Feb. 2014; Sims, Ray. Personal Interview. 13 Feb. 2014; Loosley, John. Personal Interview. 17 June 2014.