Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cancer Society's Move Angers Supporters; Some on Board Say They Should Have Been Consulted before Beaches Office Closed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cancer Society's Move Angers Supporters; Some on Board Say They Should Have Been Consulted before Beaches Office Closed

Article excerpt

Byline: CAREN BURMEISTER

The American Cancer Society has closed its Beaches office to cut costs, prompting several board members to resign over how the decision was handled.

The consolidation with the downtown Jacksonville office is projected to save about $50,000 on rent, which could be used for more free wigs, prostheses, bras and other cancer patient services, said Ben Hippeli, executive director of the First Coast Area American Cancer Society.

As of Sept. 15, staff from the Beaches office, known as the First Coast Beaches, St. Johns and Nassau Unit because it serves Jacksonville Beach, Nassau County and St. Johns County, were moved to the Jacksonville office on Prudential Drive.

"The change gives us the opportunity to dedicate more of our resources toward our mission of helping people stay well, get well, finding cures and fighting back," Hippeli said this week.

But the decision and how it was handled led several board members to resign or let their terms expire.

The action comes as two American Cancer Society fund-raisers are about to occur in Jacksonville Beach - Boobsapalooza Bands Against Breast Cancer at Lynch's Irish Pub on Saturday, Oct. 3, and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer beach walk at the SeaWalk Pavilion on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Coordinators of those events said they are upholding their commitments to donate the money raised to the American Cancer Society. But in years to come, that may not be the case.

Boobsapaloozaorganizer Hank Watson, a seven-year member of the Cancer Society's Beaches board, said she was dismayed that management never sought the board's input.

"I don't like the way they handled this," Watson said. "Could they have considered having a conversation with us and letting us work with them to try to alleviate those issues? It's possible we could have gotten empty office space donated."

In the future, Boobsapalooza and other fundraisers could support cancer programs and projects at the Beaches, Watson said. She plans to resign after the fundraiser is over.

Morris Dees, a Jacksonville Beach oncologist who was the Beaches board chairman, said he understands the American Cancer Society has to control expenses. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.