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Letter: There must be some way to keep Hope Lodge open

There must be some way to keep Hope Lodge open

I was surprised, shocked and saddened when I read The News article on the American Cancer Society’s closing of Hope Lodge. This is one of Buffalo’s many large Victorian-style homes located on Summer Street.

However, this home is anything but typical. Hope Lodge offers a free real “at home” environment for cancer patients and their families during the days and nights when patients are getting their treatments at various Buffalo hospitals.

My exposure to Hope Lodge does not come, luckily, from myself or a family member spending time there. It comes from 10+ years of “working” at the lodge for the day on United Way’s Day of Caring.

I was a member of a great team of hardworking individuals from a combination of the staffs at the Niagara Frontier Auto Dealers Association and General Motors Tonawanda engine plant. Annually we spend this day inside and outside Hope Lodge scraping, painting, cleaning, gardening, fixing, moving items, etc. All from a long to-do list the lodge’s great staff gave us.

During the day, I experienced the patients and their families coming and going to treatments. Despite the trauma they all were going through, the residents took the time to always offer compliments and thank yous to each of us for our efforts.

Yes, I am very disappointed by this closing and wonder why our society allows places like Hope Lodge to vanish. I do know that the real-life situations I experienced at this home will live with me forever.

Randy Philipps

Town of Tonawanda

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