IT has been one year since Western Care Lodge opened its doors to become a home away from home for cancer patients being treated at Orange Health Service.
Since it opened, the Lodge has housed 306 patients from across NSW.
Western Care Lodge regional coordinator Jan Savage said the lodge had been vital to the recovery of patients.
“It allows people to reduce stress and make friends,” Mrs Savage said.
The event was marked with a donation of $50,000 from the Lions Club of Cudal-Cargo District.
The donation has been about 20 years in the making.
The club had hoped the money would go to a halfway house for the elderly at Cudal Hospital, but after the hospital closed, the members had a big decision to make.
President Janet Price said after a lengthy discussion, Western Care Lodge was deemed the most worthy recipient.
“We thought that it was a wonderful, needy organisation,” she said.
Mrs Savage said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of the small community and the club.
“This is an extreme act of generosity from people who will never use the facility,” she said.
The fundraising for stage two of the lodge has passed the halfway mark. Another $520,000 of a total $1.2 million is needed, with building to start in February.
Mrs Savage said the project must be completed by mid 2013.
“It is essential that the required balance of funds are in before commencement of the build,” she said.
Mrs Savage said she hoped the donation by the Cudal-Cargo Lions would serve as an example to larger towns who would use the facility.