For the first time ever in northern B.C., a group of local fundraisers has been honoured by the Canadian Cancer Society.
Members of the Kordyban Lodge Cabinet, in charge of bringing in the capital funds to build the Kordyban Lodge, were recognized with the national Circle of Distinction award Monday.
The award is handed out annually to a team of society volunteers and staff who contribute to the organization's goals and mission of eradicating cancer and enhancing the quality of life for those living with cancer.
The cabinet, who brought in $2 million more than their $10 million campaign goal, is made up of Henry Novak, Brian Brownridge, Charles Jago, Gerry Martin, Jim Eglinski, Lorraine Grant, Les Waldie, and Margaret Jones-Bricker.
Society regional director Jones-Bricker said the pride was two-fold, as Mary Kordyban was also recognized in June with a special recognition award by the Canadian Cancer Society.
"This is the first time in northern B.C. that we've actually received national awards," she said. "It's very nice to finally be noticed, I guess."
That notice was driven by the strength of the project and the teamwork of the cabinet.
"Because of a real tie to the mission, knowing that the cause was so compelling, it made the project really universally understandable and it was something that everyone felt that people would respond to - which they did," Jones-Bricker said.
The response to having a northern cancer centre - set to open later this year - was so great that the fundraising team reached its financial goals earlier than anticipated, according to the regional director.
"We had set a longer timeline in place and we really actually met our goal last summer at this time and we didn't think that was going to happen until another six months to a year down the road," she said.
About half of the donations came in from Prince George, with the rest flowing in from personal and corporate sponsors in other parts of the province.
Members of the cabinet were also spread out to other home bases in Terrace and Fort St. John.
"My family and I recognize the need for a 'home away from home' for cancer patients here in the north and we are proud to have been a pat of this campaign," said Novak, who was both a donor and campaign chair.
Having regional representation and spreading the message of the project across the north was key because "so many of the people who will actually utilize the lodge will not actually live in Prince George," Jones-Bricker said.
Other recipients of the award this year are also from the province - the Chinese Community Team and Nancy Falconer and the Greater Victoria Tanning is Out youth team.