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

Summer seems to be flying by. Mary’s Place offers a place for our guests to relax and reset during what is often an otherwise chaotic time in their lives. Our coastal setting encourages them to embrace summer activities like yoga on the porch, trips to the nearest ice cream shop, and dipping their toes in the ocean, all while enjoying the services and serene atmosphere of Mary’s Place by the Sea.

In June, we celebrated one year since moving into our new home at Main Avenue. During the first twelve months, we welcomed over 900 guests through our doors. The move to Main Avenue, and the successful program we are operating, would not be possible without the help of many who laid the foundation with us in the very beginning.

This October, we will honor some of those very special people and the profound impact they have had on Mary’s Place by the Sea. We hope that you will join us at the Fourth Annual Oceanfront Bash at Buona Sera Palazzo on Friday, October 6th.

We are pleased to announce the following recipients of this year’s awards:

- Hope Hero: David Armstrong, Founding Chairman of Mary's Place by the Sea's Board of Trustees (2010-2017)
- Humanitarian Hero: Ellen Carroll, The Coaster
- Legacy Heroes: Geoff and Mary Ellen Doyle
- Community Pioneer Heroes: The Clark Family, Advisors Mortgage and Renaissance Women's Group

The evening will celebrate the dedication of four distinguished honorees, and raise funds to further the mission of Mary’s Place by the Sea. We look forward to celebrating these individuals, and sharing more about our mission with you at the Bash! We continue to be 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
Stories from our Guests
Michelle Rivera
A new perspective
Little did I know that my body and life was about to change forever in the Fall of 2008. I was in complete shock and disbelief when my doctor read the lab report and said, "You have breast cancer." At a loss for words, all that came to my mind was: "I'm going to die." This prognosis conjured up visions of mortality and unfulfilled dreams.

After I picked myself up off the floor after being whacked with the tidal wave of a cancer diagnosis, the thought of all the physical and emotional battles I was about to face became real. My husband was with me when the news was delivered – news that placed me in verbal paralysis. All I can remember is my life partner asking the doctor all of the questions I could not ask.

So the journey began. The surgeries, treatments, hair loss, side effects, scans, fatigue, bloodwork, and questions from family and friends. It all was exhausting and overwhelming.
We have all been told at one point not to worry about the future, just take one day at a time. That is exactly what I chose to do. I tackled one thing at a time, one day at a time and although I thought of cancer, I did not dwell on it. Savoring each day brings a whole new perspective to that adage, as we never know what tomorrow will bring-either good or bad.

As part of my journey, I visited Mary's Place by the Sea.

As a guest at Mary's Place, I was able to partake in several educational, spiritual, and informative workshops. All of the women are on their own cancer journey. It's a place of healing, hope, support, and most of all love.

Michele Rivera
Guest of Mary's Place by the Sea
Our Team
Practitioner Spotlight
Michele Camille
Oncology Massage
Michele Camille spent nearly 20 years in pharmaceuticals, medical fundraising and drug development prior to becoming a licensed massage therapist. When her last job concluded, Camille felt the need to reevaluate her personal beliefs in wellness and holistic care and somehow provide a bridge between western and eastern medicine. She had focused on the western side of medicine for so long, and knew its importance, but also realized there was much untapped in the field of wellness and self-care. Camille finally felt she was in the time and place where she could somehow bridge her knowledge of western medicine and passion for eastern modalities.

After pausing for a period, Camille decided to pursue massage therapy school. She attended the Institute for Therapeutic Massage, in Red Bank, New Jersey, where she focused on oncology massage. Having close family members who had been affected by cancer, this modality spoke to Camille’s heart in a distinct way.

“It’s the most raw, connected, intimate, real place that I know. It is incredibly rewarding to contribute to people on this level of intimacy and vulnerability; I am constantly inspired by our guests' depth and courage. Working with our guests has changed my life forever, in ways that words don’t truly capture. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute and honor our guests and their profound journeys.”

The Board of Trustees
My name is Mary Ann LaSardo and for the past three years, I have been committed to Mary’s Place by the Sea. I am a volunteer, a board member and I am thrilled to assume the new role of Board Chair. As I embrace this new role, I want to recognize some of the amazing people who have made Mary’s Place by the Sea a peaceful place for women going through perhaps the most difficult journey of their lives. David Armstrong, who was Chairman of the Board for the past seven years, helped lead us to where we are today through his talent and dedication to our mission. From the first B&B where we rented two bedrooms, to our current residence where we can host nine guests overnight and several more during the day, Dave has been there guiding and helping. His lifelong commitment is my safety net, knowing he will be there to help and keep us on course.

Our Board is amazing. Their dedication of their time, talent and support is herculean. We need…they produce. They are true professionals from all walks of life. I am humbled and blessed to work alongside these highly energized and professional individuals.

From the time a guest calls to find out about Mary’s Place, to the time they say goodbye, our staff provides all of the support and nourishment they need. To say they go above and beyond would be an understatement.

Our volunteers are many. They wear numerous hats, all while having love in their hearts, and smiles on their faces. I am thrilled to be part of this group. They have taught me the meaning of kindness and giving. Mary’s Place by the Sea simply could not flourish without our volunteers.

The founders, Michele and Maria, are my role models at Mary’s Place by the Sea and also in life. As we grow, we are finding things that need to change and grow too. While they embrace change, they will continue to operate Mary’s Place with kindness, individual attention, and integrity.

Finally, to our guests: when I meet you, have a meal with you, and share stories with you, I am always a better person having met you. The gift you give of yourselves is life-changing. You are not in this battle alone. We at Mary’s Place by the Sea will embrace and love you through this journey.

As we move forward, I promise that with the help and support of everyone above, I will help Mary’s Place continue to be the loving, comforting respite for women that it has been since its founding.

Mary Ann LaSardo
Board of Trustees
Mary’s Place by the Sea

Crunchy Thai Noodle Salad
Thai Salad
• 2 cups kale thinly sliced, or baby kale
• 1 ½ cups napa cabbage thinly sliced
• 1 ½ cups red cabbage thinly sliced
• ½ cup red bell pepper thinly sliced
• ½ cup carrot shredded
• 1 mango thinly sliced
• ¼ cup cilantro chopped
• 8 mint leaves thinly sliced
• ¼ cup peanuts roasted, roughly chopped
• 2 cups cooked brown rice ramen noodles (optional)

In a large bowl, add all salad ingredients except peanuts and ramen noodles, if using; kale, cabbage, bell pepper, carrot mango, cilantro, mint, and onions. Set aside while you make the dressing.
Peanut Dressing
• 1/3 cup organic peanut butter
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
• 1 ½ tablespoons rice wine vinegar
• 1 ½ tablespoons tamari
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon sriracha
• ½ teaspoon ginger minced
• 1 clove garlic roughly chopped

In a blender, add all peanut dressing ingredients; peanut butter, lime juice, honey, vinegar, tamari, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger, garlic and water. Puree until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. You can also whisk ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Add more water if needed to thin out the dressing if desired. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

To Serve:
1. Gradually add enough dressing to coat the salad, toss to combine. Drizzle with more dressing if there is any remaining, top with freshly cracked black pepper and roasted peanuts.
2. Serve over brown rice ramen noodles (optional).
3. Enjoy!

The First Year In Our New Home
In June, we celebrated one year since moving into our new home at 22 Main Avenue. This impact report gives a glance at some of the services we have provided in the past year.
View the full Impact Report
4th Oceanfront Bash
Join Mary’s Place by the Sea for the 4th Annual Oceanfront Bash on Friday, October 6th, 2017 from 6pm-11pm at Buona Sera Palazzo at St. George. We are excited to celebrate with you and honor those who give so much to our mission throughout the year!
Congratulations to our 2017 Honorees!

- Hope Hero: David Armstrong, Founding Chairman of Mary's Place by the Sea's Board of Trustees (2010-2017)

- Humanitarian Hero: Ellen Carroll, The Coaster

- Legacy Heroes: Geoff and Mary Ellen Doyle

- Community Pioneer Heroes: The Clark Family, Advisors Mortgage and Renaissance Women's Group

Mary's Place by the Sea Events
There's always something exciting happening with Mary's Place! Click the link below to see our upcoming events.

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 massage, nutrition education, individual counseling, Reiki, guided meditation and yoga.