For close to 11 years, Lilier Lodge has provided a home away from home for Riverina cancer sufferers during their treatment.
Opened in May 2004, the lodge – a joint venture between Can-Assist and the NSW Cancer Council – accommodates 800 people each year from an area spanning from Lake Cargelligo to Tumbarumba.
In the decade since it opened the facility on Edward Street hasn’t had any work done to it and its manager, Christine Dolan, concedes it’s in need of a refresh.
“All the fit-outs are excellent, it’s just the soft furnishings that are dated,” she said.
With an aim to keep accommodation at the lodge affordable however, the call has gone out to the community for help to fund the refit.
The Lions Club of Griffith is driving a push through the region’s clubs to raise money for a refresh of the lodge through its Lilier Lodge Refurbishment Challenge.
So far six other clubs in the region have come on board, raising $6800 for the cause, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg according to challenge convenor Les Corner.
Mr Corner said with hundreds of people making use of the lodge each year, an update of the lodge’s interiors after 11 years was needed to keep it fresh.
“It’s a thing needed by the community … it’s just gotta be (done),” he said.
In 2002, when fund-raising for the lodge to be built was in full swing, Mr Corner and the Griffith Lions Club played a big role in organising the Walk to Wagga, which generated $70,000 for the cause.
The planned refurbishments are primarily cosmetic in nature and will update the paint inside the lodge and replace its floor coverings.
Current lodge resident Duncan McWhirter, a Griffith resident currently in the middle of a seven-week stay, said the facility made a world of difference to his recovery.
“It’s really a very therapeutic place to stay,” he said.
“The ability to chat to someone going through similar themes is of significant benefit.”
Mr McWhirter said having a facility like Lilier Lodge was a big plus for western Riverina residents, who would otherwise face drives of up to eight hours to Sydney for their recovery.
Driving such a long way isn’t necessarily an option for all sufferers, particularly the elderly.
“I think their willingness to go to Sydney or Melbourne might be tested,” Mr McWhirter said.
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