PLAINS TWP. — Peggy Dwyer modeled a lavender outfit on Sunday afternoon not only as an opportunity to raise money for Candy’s Place, Center for Cancer Wellness, but also to take part in the positive healthy spirit making that center a reality.
Dwyer, participating in the fourth annual fashion show and luncheon sponsored by Candy’s Place at the Woodlands Inn & Resort, is herself a survivor and credits the center with fostering a spirit of hope and fellowship that makes recovery possible.
“We are truly survivors, one day at a time,” said Dwyer. “I am simply and fully living life.”
Marie Saltz, Ashley, a breast cancer survivor, echoes the need to fully embrace life after being diagnosed with cancer.
“Candy’s Place helped me to do that, to live with hope,” said Saltz. “I knew that I was no longer alone.”
Model Mark DiPippa, Wilkes-Barre, said it was an honor to be able to participate in the event. DiPippa, a 25-year survivor of the disease, said he viewed it as an opportunity “to give back.”
“Early on in my recovery I made a commitment to help others suffering from cancer,” he said. “That commitment has positively impacted by career and my whole life.”
Chris Ostroski, director of Candy’s Place and also a survivor, emphasized the benefits of supporting cancer victims and their families. Located in Forty Fort, the center has served the community since its beginnings in 1998. Its focus is not simply on physical recovery, but on emotional and spiritual support for survivors and their families.
The fashion show embodies this positive spirit as those battling cancer and survivors were able to “strut their stuff” in a celebration of hope and victory.
The 22 models each sported a color associated with a specific type of cancer, with specific symptoms and challenges.
“Although I’m wearing lavender in support of those with pancreatic cancer,” said Dwyer, “we are here today to support those with any type of cancer and their families.”
Penny Cunningham founded Candy’s Place in memory of her sister Candice Vincent-Mamary, who lost her battle with lung cancer.
“Candy said she wanted something positive to come from her difficult struggle,” said Cunningham. “I know she would have thought the fashion show was a great opportunity to raise money and the spirits of those with cancer and those who love them.”
Candy’s Place emphasized the importance of feeling attractive, being in touch with spirituality and purposeful relaxation. It offers programs that include facials, massage therapy and other forms of relaxation, emphasizing every area of a person’s life in the process of recovery.
It also assists family members and caregivers, with services and support groups addressing their unique needs.
Local TV news personality Brittany Sweeney, guest MC for the event, said “I am so honored to be emceeing this fashion show. Candy’s Place is truly amazing.”
“We hope to raise over $10,000 in memory of Candy and in support of those battling cancer,” said Cunningham.