American Cancer Society closes Valencia location due to pandemic, officials say

Guests sample chili at the American Cancer Society's Chili Cook-off Saturday afternoon. March 07, 2020. Bobby Block / The Signal.

The American Cancer Society closed down its Valencia location, ahead of an expected $200 million shortfall in 2020 for the nationwide organization due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to officials.  

The office, located on the 2500 block of Avenue Stanford, closed on Thursday, where two staff members have been impacted by the decision and will now be based out of its Burbank office and in opportunities with the Valencia ACS Discovery Shop for local convening and incidental staff needs, read an email from executive director Dan Witzling to staff and supporters. 

“We continuously evaluate our operational effectiveness to ensure that we are committing enough resources to help our staff and volunteers finish the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society has never faced a threat to our mission like the coronavirus. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impeded the American Cancer Society’s annual fundraising activity, creating significant financial hardship and forcing several cost-saving measures including office closures,” read the email. 

With an estimated $200 million shortfall, the organization must reduce its overall budget by approximately 30% with cuts to both non-personnel, such as office closures, and personnel expenses, said Witzling. 

In closing the Valencia office, the nearest one for those in need is located in Burbank but its presence will remain in the Santa Clarita Valley through the ACS Discovery Shop, located on Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road. The center provides a place to convene, shop, donate and find local cancer information. Though currently closed due to the pandemic, reopening is expected as soon as possible, Witzling said. 

“While we understand that people may be disappointed by this closure, we believe this decision is necessary to ultimately help the most people and save the most lives. We hope you understand and will continue to be a valuable partner with us,” the email concluded. 

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