FORTY FORT — Candy’s Place, a nonprofit cancer wellness center based in Forty Fort, has begun its search for a new director to replace its founder.
The organization had announced plans to close Sept. 14, but it chose to stay open and reorganize after an outpouring of community support.
Longtime board member and current Chairman Kim Mericle said Candy’s Place is working to fill the director’s position as soon as possible.
“We are seeking someone with vision, someone who will supervise, motivate, and support our staff and volunteers,” Mericle said. “Most importantly, we want someone who will provide exceptional care and compassion to the many cancer patients and families who turn to Candy’s Place during very stressful times in their lives.”
Mericle said the director should have strong organizational skills, have some experience in fundraising and grant writing, and preferably three to five years of experience in a nonprofit environment.
In addition, a new slate of board members will be approved for Candy’s Place shortly. Several previous members have agreed to remain and new officers have been appointed. The Candy’s Place team of instructors, caregivers and other key volunteers will continue to provide uninterrupted services and support to those in need.
Known for providing personalized services and a home-like atmosphere for patients, Candy’s Place announced it was closing after founder Penny Cunningham said she would retire after 20 years of dedicated volunteer service.
Cunningham founded Candy’s Place in September 1998 in memory of her sister, Candice Vincent-Mamary, who died of lung cancer despite leading an active and healthy lifestyle and not being a smoker.
“Penny means so much to Candy’s Place and contributed so many hours of her time that we weren’t sure we’d be able to continue,” Mericle said. “However, after we announced we were closing, we received so many calls, cards and emails of support from the families we’ve touched over the past 20 years, that we knew we needed to find a way to move forward. I am thrilled that we are keeping our doors open with all of our current programs and services remaining in place.”
Mericle said she and her husband, local real estate developer Rob Mericle, will continue their long-standing financial support of Candy’s Place. Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services has also provided rent-free office space for many years.
The group has already received rèsumès for director. Candidates interested in applying should send their rèsumè as soon as possible to [email protected] The board expects to begin interviews shortly.
For more: cancerwellnessnepa.org. Donations are always welcome.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.