Candy’s Place will not close, founder says

By Bill O’Boyle - [email protected]
Candy’s Place in Forty Fort, which offers free services to cancer patients, has announced it will not be closing. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Cunningham - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

FORTY FORT — Candy’s Place, A Cancer Wellness Center will not close as previously announced.

Penny Cunningham, founder of Candy’s Place and sister of the center’s namesake, the late Candice Vincent Mamary, released a statement:

“After providing vital services and a home-like atmosphere to cancer patients and their loved ones for the past 20 years, we recently made the sad announcement that we would be closing our doors forever on Sept. 14, 2018.

“However, since that time, we have been overwhelmed with calls of support and offers to help re-energize and re-open Candy’s Place.

“As a result, we are pleased to announce, we will not be closing our doors on Sept. 14 and we have begun the hard work of restructuring and reorganizing Candy’s Place with the intention of keeping our doors open for many years to come.

“We thank you for your support and trust you will be hearing from us again soon with a positive announcement about the future.”

Candy’s Place is located at 190 Welles St., Forty Fort. That location will remain open, Cunningham said.

“The location is the same and our programs and services will remain the same,” she noted. “An executive director will be hired and I will stay involved at some level.”

Cunningham would not identify any benefactors who came forward to keep Candy’s Place open.

“All I can say is that I was speechless when I got the phone call,” she recalled. “I was feeling very overwhelmed — at first with goodness. I am thrilled for the patients. I was concerned about where they would go. But that is no longer a worry — Candy’s Place will continue on. I can’t let go after 20 years.”

When Cunningham announced the center was closing, a statement noted Candy’s Place has raised more than $3 million since 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 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 center’s website is still active at cancerwellnessnepa.org.

All of the programs and services at Candy’s Place are free of charge to cancer patients.

About Candy’s Place

• Since its inception, literally hundreds of patients, survivors, caregivers, widows and widowers, and loved ones have participated and benefited from the center’s services.

• The Board of Directors of Candy’s Place has carefully chosen to address the physical, emotional, and social needs for those diagnosed with cancer to enhance their medical treatment.

• Although medical advances have been made toward the detection and treatment of cancer, little emphasis has been placed on the recovery and re-healing of cancer’s physical and emotional aspects, and most importantly, the quality of life issues before, during, and after cancer treatment.

• The center’s “home” is a beautifully appointed, cozy, loving and non-threatening atmosphere where cancer patients feel free to visit and not only find the answers they seek, but make life-long friendships with staff, volunteers and fellow cancer patients.

Candy’s Place in Forty Fort, which offers free services to cancer patients, has announced it will not be closing.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL080318Candys-Place1CMYK-2.jpgCandy’s Place in Forty Fort, which offers free services to cancer patients, has announced it will not be closing. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader

Cunningham
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_Penny-Cunningham-1.jpgCunningham Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Cancer center offersfree services to patients

By Bill O’Boyle

[email protected]

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.

Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.