As a cancer and wellness resource center, we work hard to provide services to our cancer clients and their loved ones in a welcoming, supportive, and relaxing environment.
In Memory of Candy
A Cancer and Wellness Resource Center for those Living with Cancer and their Loved Ones
Candy’s Place was founded in memory of Candice Vincent-Mamary. As a mother, wife, daughter, sister, a renowned social worker in our community, and a friend to all, Candy brightened every room she entered and charmed everyone she met. Her bright eyes, warm smile and caring gaze captured the attention of everyone present. She had style and she had grace. When holding a conversation, she focused every ounce of attention on the person with whom she spoke. She made each person feel as though he or she was the most important person in the world, if only for a moment.
Candy gave her time generously and indiscriminately. She loved her family, friends and the emotionally disturbed children with whom she worked tirelessly. Always admired by many for her integrity, honesty, and dedication to human rights and social justice, her memory is highly revered for her commitment and accomplishments as a social worker, who still impacts the lives of those with whom she worked.
Candy led a very active and healthy lifestyle and was not a smoker. But, in 1997, Candy was diagnosed with end-stage lung cancer. She was determined to make something positive out of a difficult situation. Her famous line was, “No negativity in my aura.” Although Candy struggled valiantly with her disease, she lost her battle with lung cancer only six months after being diagnosed with the disease. Right before she died, she told her sister, Penny, that she wanted something good to come out of her disease.
Penny kept her promise to her sister. In 1998, with the help of family and friends, Candy’s Place was founded. The organization really began at Penny’s kitchen table where family and friends would gather to form an organization that would become a valued resource center for those living with cancer and their families.
Our First Location
The first location of Candy’s Place was in the Kirby Health Center in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Not surprisingly, it quickly flourished and helped many of those living with cancer deal in a positive and loving venue with their disease. Candy’s Place provided educational materials, special gentle exercise programs geared to the cancer client, presented the “Look Good, Feel Better” program in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, offered supportive services of an oncology nurse, and informed our cancer clients of the community resources available to them.
Finding a “Home”
In 2005, the Candy’s Place dream to have a “home” to provide all of our programs and services under one roof was realized. Through the extreme generosity of Rob and Kim Mericle and Mericle Real Estate Properties, Candy’s Place found a location that fit our needs, having 4,000 square feet of space. We were able to hold not only all of our former programs and services there, but we added many new and exciting programs for our clients.
In February of 2019, the evolution of Candy’s Place continued. The generosity of Mericle Real Estate Properties provided us with a larger space in the same complex, offering 3000 more square feet. We have a larger newly equipped fitness center, a new ‘rec’ room which includes a pool table, a large screen television, and plenty of space throughout for relaxation and other activities. Much of this was made possible through private donors and community organized fundraisers. Visit us and take a tour. After all, seeing is believing. For information on our classes, check out our Movements page or Healing Arts page.
What We’re About
Since the inception of all our programs, literally hundreds of clients, survivors, caregivers, widows and widowers, and loved ones have participated and benefited from the services we offer. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was our first large supporter and was responsible for a large part of the early funding for these programs as well as The Luzerne Foundation and The Blue Ribbon Foundation.
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 towards the dedication 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.
Candy’s Place heavily relies on good friends like you in our community who support us financially because of a strong belief in the work Candy’s Place is doing. We also apply for community, county, state and private grants. Most of our funding comes from individual and corporate donations, and from the several annual fundraising events that we hold throughout the year such as our annual walk. We also appreciate being considered in your estate planning.
Our center has a welcoming, supportive, and relaxing atmosphere. Anyone can feel free to visit, get a feel for what we are about, and find the answers they seek. New clients and their loved ones will make life-long friendships with the staff and volunteers at Candy’s Place as well as with fellow cancer clients. Our services are FREE to anyone 18 years or older, man or woman, with any cancer diagnosis. Up to 3 caregivers are FREE as well. They find hope here. After all, that’s what Candy wanted.
Penny Cunningham – Founder
Penny Cunningham, founder of Candy’s Place in 1998 in memory of her sister, Candice who passed away from lung cancer. Candy wanted a place for those living with cancer to go and feel comfortable during treatment, while offering services to help them as well as their family cope with their disease. Penny kept the promise she made her sister, thus Candy’s Place was open. Penny is a retired nurse and fitness instructor, currently residing in Pittsburgh to be closer to her family. Although miles away, you can still see Penny at any of our events throughout the year.
Lisa Orlandini – Director
Lisa Orlandini was born in Exeter, PA, and holds her B.S. in Computers and Information Systems from King’s College. She has worked in the IT industry for more than ten years, primarily in NJ, while raising her two children.
Lisa relocated back to NEPA in 2002 and subsequently began working in the healthcare industry. She has many years of professional management experience within the IT and healthcare industry, ranging from System Analyst/Programmer to Business Office Manager and Regional Volunteer Coordinator to Community Relations Specialist. In addition, Lisa hosted a weekly radio program on The Talker called, “In the Know”, and was a Keynote speaker for Endless Mountains Empowerment Summit.
Lisa holds course certifications in conditioning and mind-body exercises, including TIMBo, Reiki Level II, Low Ropes, and DDI Management. Lisa is also an IHM associate.
Throughout her career, Lisa has walked the journey with several family members, friends, and patients living with a cancer diagnosis. Lisa remains passionate about learning and using her knowledge to serve others during their cancer journey to experience an improved quality of life. Her goal has always been to make a difference, personally and professionally. Candy’s Place has a history of doing just that and she is honored to be a part of an organization that has touched the lives of so many in our local communities.