The B.C. Cancer Agency Vancouver Island Centre has reopened after an extensive 929-square-metre expansion funded by the B.C. Cancer Foundation’s Inspire the World Campaign.
Patients receiving care at the centre, which is next to the Royal Jubilee Hospital, can now access services that include genetic counselling, nutrition and spiritual guidance. The ability to offer these services in one place will provide the smoothest road possible for each patient’s journey, say cancer agency officials.
“We are so proud to see the Alex and Jo Campbell Patient and Family Support Centre come to life,” said Douglas Nelson, president and CEO of the B.C. Cancer Foundation.
“Thanks to over 1,000 generous men, women and businesses who supported Inspire the World, today, cancer patients on Vancouver Island will receive the gold standard of care across the continuum from diagnosis to recovery.”
New research opportunities will grow under the Centre for Innovative Technology, which is housed in the new space. The systemic therapy clinical trials program will expand as scientists develop new treatment solutions and lay the groundwork for patient trials with homegrown immunotherapy vaccines.
National honours go to school, library
Torquay Elementary School in Saanich and the Nanaimo Harbourfront branch of the Vancouver Island Regional Library are two of 10 schools and libraries honoured for their efforts in a recent campaign to encourage reading for pleasure, sponsored by the National Reading Campaign.
The #whatdidyoureadtoday? campaign was a national effort that encouraged children to tweet what they were reading for a chance to win prizes.
Thousands of children from Halifax to Nanaimo answered to share what they were reading, from newspapers to novels. Some were funny: “I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.” Others made organizers ponder: “Does reading my cereal box count as reading?”
The two Vancouver Island winners were cited for creating vibrant displays that invited participation — and reading.
For more information, go to nationalreadingcampaign.ca.
Chocolatier doubles eco-donations
A chocolate maker concerned about the environment is donating more than $15,000 to non-profit groups opposing oil pipeline and tanker proposals.
Since 1998, Denman Island Chocolate has given one per cent of its gross sales to B.C.-based conservation groups. But this year, the company announced it would double its donation to $15,000.
The main recipient of the company’s largesse is the Dogwood Initiative, a Victoria-based public-interest advocacy group and a leading opponent to oil tanker expansion on B.C.’s coast.
“We’re extremely grateful to see small business owners stepping up to protect the B.C. coast,” said Emma Gilchrist, communications director for Dogwood Initiative.
“More than 400 businesses have signed our ‘No Tankers’ business petition. With Denman Island Chocolate’s generous support, we will be able to continue empowering citizens to make their voices heard by politicians, a vital part of a healthy democracy.”
For more information, go to dogwoodinitiative.org.
Liquor stores start Dry Grad campaign
Grad season is fast approaching and area B.C. Liquor Stores have launched their annual Support Dry Grad campaign.
When making a purchase between now and the end of the month, customers will be asked for a $1 donation to help reduce underage drinking. Last year, customers and staff throughout the province helped raise more than $540,000.
“The Dry Grad Campaign is one of the more significant initiatives we support as part of our corporate social responsibility program,” said Roger Bissoondatt, the Liquor Distribution Branch’s acting general manager.
“It is a great example of our customers’ and staff commitment to their communities.”
In just over a decade, the campaign has helped parents, students and teachers from 250 high schools in 55 school districts raise more than $4.4 million.
The money helps graduating classes celebrate at alcohol-free events such as carnival nights, overnight camping trips and boat cruises.
The campaign will run until March 30. For more information, go to bcliquorstores.com/support-dry-grad.
Gear Up event aids Camp Thunderbird
The YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria will be at the Ocean River Sports Gear Up event March 16 and 17 to raise money and awareness for Camp Thunderbird, a program that provides camping and outdoor adventure experiences for about 3,000 children, youth and families every year.
The program uses the outdoor environment to promote individual growth and development in spirit, mind and body. Some children visit the camp on a school trip while others attend summer camp programs.
Participants learn essential life skills, such as effective communication and team work, while focusing on the YMCA-YWCA four core values: responsibility, caring, honesty and respect.
At the Gear Up event, raffle tickets will be sold for prizes including a Discovery Shuttle Tour for four, a harbour kayak harbour tour and kayak rentals for two in the Inner Harbour. The YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria will also have an information booth on site.
Gear Up runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 16 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday March 17 at the parking lot across from Ocean River Sports, 1824 Store St.
For more information, go to victoriay.com.
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