A Note from Our Founders
Dear Friends of Mary’s Place by the Sea,

It is a beautiful time of year at Mary’s Place. Some of our guests are beginning to enjoy walks on the boardwalk, while others delight in the view of the ocean from their chair on the porch.  The sun stays a little longer, and with it comes the sound of laughter and enjoyment in our home.

With the new season comes a quickened pace of life; events, family functions and community obligations begin to fill our calendars, and it doesn’t take long for things to pile up. As we feel this added pressure in our own lives, we are reminded of the 800,000 women who will learn that they have cancer this year.  We are humbled by the opportunity to offer them a place to hit the pause button on all of the chaos, and focus on their own healing.

We hope that you might take one afternoon out of your busy schedules, to show your love and support for women with cancer. Our 6th Annual Walk-A-Thon is fast approaching. Please join us on Saturday, May 20th at the Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove NJ. Whether you choose to create a team or sponsor the event, your support allows our mission to grow.

We are blessed by you and your belief in our mission.

With love and gratitude,
Michele Gannon and Maria McKeon
Founders, Mary’s Place by the Sea
Millions of Americans give to their favorite charities every year, gifts of cash are probably the most common type of gift. However, many individuals find that it is beneficial to make charitable gifts using long term appreciated stocks. If you are interested in donating to Mary’s Place in this capacity, please let us know. If interested, please contact or

Stories from our Guests
Blaise Furiato
A story of hope
Blaise Furiato found out about Mary’s Place by the Sea in February of 2014 while being treated for cancer. During her time as a guest of Mary’s Place, she especially enjoyed oncology massage, reflexology, and nutrition education. During her treatments for cancer, Mary’s Place filled a void for Blaise as she took time away from work to focus on her healing.

During her visits at the facility, Blaise was informed of the annual Walk-A-Thon by one of the counselors. Suffering from a side effect of her treatment, she was unsure if she would be able to participate. However, she completed the walk accompanied by her sister Suzanne. Due to the overwhelming response from her family and friends, Blaise created a team for the walk in 2015.

In 2016, her team continued their efforts and raised over $8,000 for Mary’s Place by the Sea,  making them the number one team in pledges. Needless to say, Team “Strength Is In The Mind” will be returning to continue their efforts again this year. 
Blaise Furiato pictured with her sister, Suzanne Anderson at Mary's Place by the Sea walk
“Mary’s Place offered me the “pick-me-up” that I needed during a very low time in my cancer care.  It was a place I could go to that offered emotional, physical, and spiritual renewal without the burden of financial responsibility. I was humbled by the compassion and care that I was shown while there. Because of Mary’s Place, I am passionate about giving back and paying it forward so that others can experience what I have experienced, with a goal that no one be turned away,” said Blaise.

We look forward to seeing Blaise and Team “Strength Is In The Mind” on May 20th!
Our Team
Practitioner Spotlight
Susan Padovano
Susan Padovano joined Mary’s Place by the Sea as a volunteer counselor in January 2017. Susan received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University, where she spent many internships dealing with clients who were severely mentally ill. She has always been very interested in human emotions and why human beings behave the way they do, and helping her clients to consider the deeper questions about life. Susan is a Licensed Social Worker, now obtaining her clinical hours while counseling guests of Mary’s Place by the Sea, in working toward her clinical license.

"We do a lot of work resolving some of those previous traumas. Often, this trauma is a gift, because it brings up others, so they can begin the healing process..."

The Board of Directors
Mary's Place by the Sea Board of Directors at the 2016 OceanFront Bash! – Pictured Left to Right: Michele McMahon, Trustee; Patty O’Neill, Secretary; Maria McKeon, Co-Founder & Vice President; Michele Gannon, Co-Founder & President; David Armstrong, Chairman of the Board; Jeff Bassett, Treasurer; Mary Ann LaSardo, Vice Chair; Karen Carolonza, Trustee. Not pictured: Trustees Ginny Whipple Berkner and Jeanne Reichardt.

It is hard to believe that we are already coming up on our one-year anniversary since moving into our new home. Over the past ten months, Mary’s Place by the Sea has strengthened its programs and created even more availability for women with cancer; this growth has allowed us to serve 772 overnight and day guests combined since opening the doors to our new facility. The counseling workshops you will read about in this newsletter are just one example of the expanded programming we have already implemented this year, and it is just the beginning.  

Our guests have been overwhelmed by all that we can offer them during what
can be a very low, vulnerable time in their lives. We are humbled by the opportunity to be their lifeline. It has been incredible to see our community gather around and support our mission over the past nine years. You, our supporters and donors, are our lifeline. There are many wonderful non-profit organizations in Monmouth County, and we are grateful for your choosing to support Mary’s Place by the Sea. Your sharing your hard-earned dollars makes a direct impact on our guests’ healing.  

Mary’s Place by the Sea is an organization that never ceases to amaze me. We are now exceeding 7,000 guests since our founding, and have our eyes set on growth and expansion, to reach even more women living in quiet desperation. On behalf of the team at Mary's Place by the sea and its board of trustees, we are committed to sustaining and growing this mission for years to come. We thank you for the profound impact you are enabling us to make in the lives of the women we serve.
Simple and So Good for You!
Veggie Patty
2 ounces olive oil
3 tablespoons diced red onion
2 tablespoons diced black olives
2 tablespoons diced red bell peppers
1 teaspoon diced jalapeno
1 1/2 tablespoons diced garlic
1 tablespoon diced artichoke
4 ounces black beans, drained
4 ounces chickpeas, drained
4 ounces white beans, drained
6 ounces rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
2 tablespoons oatmeal
1 flax egg
(1 tbsp ground flax and 3 tsbp water)

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 ounce olive oil and all raw vegetables except beans. Saute until translucent. Remove and cool.

Add veggies to beans and mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients along with the flax egg. Thoroughly mix all ingredients and form into 4 patties, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In saute pan add 1 ounce olive oil, and cook patties 2 to 3 minutes per side.
Minted Spring Pea Salad
2-1/2 cups shelled frozen green peas
1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small leek, cleaned, white part only, thinly sliced
1 cup of julienned jicama
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup shredded fresh mint leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the peas into the water and cook for no more than 2 minutes.

Drain and immediately plunge the peas into a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with a towel.

Purée 1/2 cup of the peas with the juice of a lemon, zest and olive oil in a blender until smooth.

Place the peas, shallot, leek, jicama and mint in a medium, nonreactive bowl and toss gently to combine.

Pour the pea purée over the salad and gently toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss gently until the vegetables are coated.

Serves 6-8.

Oral and Neck Cancer Awareness Month
There is no better time than now to educate yourself on the symptoms, risks, and preventative measures you can take to stay healthy.

Many head and neck cancers result from persistent exposure to known risk factors. These may include tobacco, alcohol, or cancer-causing agents in the workplace. These cancers are generally considered preventable; however, some people who develop head and neck cancers have no known risk factors.
6th Annual Walk-a-thon
We are less than one month away from our upcoming Walk-A-Thon! Help us reach our goal! Register, Donate, or Sponsor today! If you have questions about participating, contact Clare Freda at
22 Main Avenue
Ocean Grove, NJ 07756
About us:
Mary’s Place by the Sea is a respite home for women who are receiving treatment for cancer.  We provide services that complement their medical treatment, including oncology massages, nutrition education, individual counseling, Reiki, guided meditation and yoga.