GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Guests celebrated the opening of the now finished Cancer Survivors Park Saturday evening with food, drinks, and music.
The once unaccessible part of the Swamp Rabbit Trail is now a place for cancer survivors to heal.
Diane Gluck’s daughter had a vision to create a park for cancer survivors and their families in the heart of Greenville.
“We launched the idea actually on Cancer Survivors Day in 1999, thinking that it would be a nice little small park right there near the Cancer Center and we would be done in a year or two and it would be good,” Gluck, the Founder of the Cancer Survivors Park, told 7News. “Somehow it grew from there.”
Nearly two decades later, Gluck’s daughters dream came to fruition.
“It is finally here,” Gluck said. “It is pretty remarkable!”
The 6.5 acres park, on the Swamp Rabbit Trail, is a green space of hope and healing. It’s a place for survivors to find a renewed sense of life. A place for those battling to find new hope, a place to honor those how have passed away and the families they’ve left behind.
“So it’s a park of celebration. It’s a park of remembrance. It’s a park of faith. It’s a park of healing and it’s a park of education,” said President of the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance Tom Bates.
Bates knows the heartache of losing someone to cancer. “For me it was a mother who died when I was 10 of cancer and just recently, 2 years ago, my 29-year-old daughter passed away with colon cancer,” he said.
Bates has found a way to always keep his daughter’s memory alive through the park.
“At the top of it is a $250,000 dollar naming-right place called ‘The Leap of Faith’ and I’m honored to say that it will be named after my daughter Lindsey Bates Motely,” Bates told 7News.
The visionaries behind the center hope one day the park won’t have a purpose. They sai it’ll be the day there’s a cure for cancer.
“One day it’ll be gone and we will all celebrate,” said Bates.
On Saturday, the Garden Party Gala was hosted by the Cancer Survivors Park Alliance to help fund the group’s mission to create what they describe as an “inspirational setting that provides a place for rejuvenation, education, hope, and celebration for anyone touched by cancer.”
Guests were treated to food from Chef 360 and music from Trey Francis and were able to wander throughout the park.
Guests were able to purchase tickets to the gala for $125 per person.
The Cancer Survivors Park Alliance is little more than $1 million dollars short of it’s $10 million dollar goal to complete the park. If you are interested in donating please click here.
Cancer Survivors Park is located on Cleveland Street along the Swamp Rabbit Trail in downtown Greenville.