New face at cancer society

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The South Canterbury Cancer Society has a new manager. Timaru woman Leola Smith replaced Gabrielle Hall in the position at the beginning of the month. Ms Hall had been the manager for 16 years. ‘‘I have big shoes to fill, that’s for sure,’’ Ms Smith said. ‘‘I’m looking forward to it, though. It just feels like the perfect fit to me and Iwill put my own spin on it.’’ The shift to the society after many years working in health was a natural move, she said. ‘‘I saw the job advertised and applied. ‘‘I’ve been involved with the Canterbury District Health Board for the past 19 years and have worked in smokefree and alcohol promotion. ‘‘The Cancer Society has been my charity of choice for a number of years.’’ She has also been part of the society’s Relay For Life since 2004. She said cancer had had a big impact in her personal life, with her uncle dying of a brain tumour. ‘‘I also supported my Mum through her cancer journey and a friend died of cancer last year. ‘‘It’s something that is quite close to my heart. In this job, it helps me to give back.’’ Several weeks into the job, Ms Smith said the tireless work of the volunteers involved with the society was something she was ‘‘very impressed’’ with. ‘‘There are some amazing people who work with the society. ‘‘Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer. The society does some amazing things.’’ Ms Smith’s main focus at present is organising of the society’s Daffodil Day — an annual fundraiser being held on Friday, August 26. ‘‘Also, we are always looking for volunteers so anyone who is interested is welcome to contact us.’’