FORTY FORT — The mantra for Candy’s Place was the motto namesake Candice Vincent-Mamary brought to her battle with lung cancer: “No negativity in my aura.”
While that attitude sustained the non-profit cancer wellness center for two decades, it was not enough to keep the doors open. Candy’s Place will close Sept. 14.
“When we opened our doors, our mission was to provide a supportive and home-like atmosphere for cancer patients and their loved ones and for twenty years, with the help of many groups and individuals, our mission was successful,” a statement issued by the center said.”we are forever grateful that we were able to provide emotional support, help, and hope to hundreds of cancer patients.”
The statement notes Candy’s place has raised more than $3 million since Candy’s sister, Penny Cunningham, founded the center to keep a promise to her sister: That something good would come from her ordeal. Largely coming from grants and contributions, the money helped pay for workshops, special events, support groups, exercise classes, art therapy and more.
The center must have done something right. It won strong support from several donors, including the Susan g. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Luzerne Foundation and the Blue Ribbon Foundation. It was common to find obituaries of those who had benefited from the center encouraging donations to Candy’s Place.
Despite the substantial-sounding sum of money, Federal 990 forms required annually from non-profits show Candy’s place was struggling in recent years. The 2016 form shows expenses exceeding revenue by $59,337 that year, and by $20,310 the prior year.
The statement thanks major donors including the Komen Foundation, Rob and Kim Mericle, and Last Man Standing football. “Without their generous support and the support of many, many individuals and groups throughout the community, we would not have been able to fulfill our mission.”
The statement concludes with the same ray of hope Candy expressed decades ago, noting that “remaining funds will be donated to local charities,” and offering a hand to those who would like to see the services continue:
“If any individual or organization is interested in carrying out the mission to help cancer patients, please contact us. Thank you.”
The center’s website is still active at cancerwellnessnepa.org.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish