A dedication ceremony Thursday afternoon celebrated the completion of the Davis House in Elkins.
This "home away from home" is intended to give those traveling long distances for cancer treatment with a place to stay and rest.
"When this project was started a year ago, I did not think it would happen," said Davis Health System CEO Mark Doak. "So while you eat cheese this afternoon, I will be eating crow."
Doak said he is very pleased the Davis House is complete. The original announcement of the project a year ago was met with great community support in the way of donations, volunteers, materials and labor.
"This is your house," Doak said. "It belongs to the community that worked so hard to build it."
Lynn Phillips shared greetings from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who was unable to attend.
"Traveling is hard when taking cancer treatments," Phillips read. "The Davis House ends that problem offering a home away from home. It is a comfortable, caring atmosphere for patients and their caregivers. I applaud Davis Health System and everyone involved in the completion of this facility."
Angie Arbogast, Cancer Care Center nurse navigator, said she gets to meet with newly diagnosed patients during her work day.
"I speak with patients who refuse to drive for treatments because they cannot afford the costs associated with the trip," Arbogast said. "Some patients sleep in their cars because they cannot afford a room, and cannot afford to drive back and forth."
Arbogast said support for the Davis House has been wonderful.
"Patients now have a safe, comfortable place to stay as they seek treatment," she said.
Hugh Hitchcock, president of Davis Health System Foundation, said the outpouring in support of the Davis House has been great, from the community, individuals, businesses and employees.
"Community people from all walks of life stepped up to make the Davis House a reality," Hitchcock said. "Even people of modest means gave as much as they could."
Hitchcock said the project was completed on budget and on time.
"This house was slated to be torn down," Hitchcock said. "Look at it now. It has transformed like a phoenix rising from the ashes."
Dan Bucher, Davis Health System Foundation special projects coordinator, told those gathered that every donor to the Davis House project was critical to the completion of this labor of love.
The Rev. Basil Hensley ended the ceremony by offering a prayer of dedication for the Davis House and all those who pass through seeking treatment.
Contact Beth Christian Broschart by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.