In Memory of Candy

Our Mission

As a cancer wellness and resource center, we work hard to provide support to cancer patients and their loved ones in a loving, safe and home-like environment.

Our Story

A Cancer Resource Center for Cancer Patients 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 cancer patients 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 cancer patients deal in a positive and loving venue with their disease. Candy’s Place provided educational materials, special gentle exercise programs geared to the cancer patient, presented the “Look Good, Feel Better” program in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, offered supportive services of an oncology nurse, and informed the patients 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 relocated to our beautiful new home which has 4,000 square feet of space. Now, we are able to hold not only all of our former programs and services here, but we are adding many new and exciting programs for our patients. Please check out our Movements page or Healing Arts page for classes and times.

What We’re About
Since the inception of all our programs, literally hundreds of patients, 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 cancers physical and emotional aspects, and most importantly, the quality of life issues before, during, and after cancer treatment.

Candy’s Place neither receives state or federal funds and it is not a United Way member agency. Candy’s Place solely 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 Rainbow Walk.

Our “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 the staff and volunteers at Candy’s Place as well as with their fellow cancer patients. All of our programs and services at Candy’s Place are free of charge to cancer patients. 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 dealing 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 Pittsburg to be closer to her family. Although miles away, you can still see Penny at any of our events throughout the year.