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Candy’s Place Searching For New Director

September 20, 2018

FORTY FORT — Candy’s Place, a nonprofit cancer wellness center based in Forty Fort, has begun its search for a new director.

Founder Penny Cunningham announced plans to close on Sept. 14 but she said Candy’s Place was able to stay open and reorganize thanks to overwhelming support.

The primary financial contributors who allowed the center to remain open were local real estate developer Rob Mericle and his wife Kim Mericle, long-time board member and current chairwoman, according to Candy’s Place board president Jim Hilsher.

Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services also has provided rent-free office space to Candy’s Place for many years, Hilsher said.

Kim Mericle said she and her husband will continue their long-standing financial support of Candy’s Place.

She 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,” she 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.

She said a new slate of board members will be approved for Candy’s Place shortly. Several of the previous board members have agreed to remain and new officers have been appointed.

The Candy’s Place team of instructors, caregivers and other key volunteers also will continue to provide uninterrupted services and support to those in need. Donations are welcome.

Known for providing personalized services and a home-like atmosphere for cancer patients, Candy’s Place made the announcement to close after Cunningham announced she was retiring after 20 years of dedicated volunteer service to the organization.

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. 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,” Kim Mericle said. “I am thrilled that we are keeping our doors open with all of our current programs and services remaining in place.”

She said the organization has already received letters and resumes from numerous people interested in the director’s position. Candidates interested in applying should send their resume as soon as possible to candysplacesearch@gmail.com. The board expects to begin interviews shortly.

For information, visit http://cancerwellnessnepa.org.

Contact the writer:

dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh

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