I learned about Mary's Place by the Sea from my co-workers at school who participate in the annual fund-raising walk; they are committed supporters of Mary's Place by the Sea's vision and mission. I received my Stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis only three months after starting a new job as an art teacher in this school. It was a big bump
in the road and certainly an unwelcome inconvenience that isolated me from my job's school community that I loved and enjoyed very much. However, the most difficult part about the diagnosis was having to confront the possibility of leaving my two children motherless. This specific aspect of my battle is what motivates me to do all that I can to ensure
that I stick around long enough to see them well into adulthood.
Therefore, I embraced the opportunity to visit Mary's Place by the Sea and receive whatever it had to offer to support my healing and recovery from cancer. Having never spent a night away from my children, I decided to visit Mary's Place by the Sea as a day guest. I walked into the house depleted from my second round of chemotherapy; I was weak
from being dehydrated and losing six pounds in just one week. Upon entering I was warmly greeted and welcomed by caring women who exuded love, compassion, and hospitality. It was their mission to pamper me and the other women there. I met fellow warriors, courageous women, who inspired me and gave me strength to continue my
journey, supported by knowing that I'm not in this fight alone.
That day I ate my first full meal in nine days. I also received a very relaxing massage - the kind that puts you in a not fully awake, but not fully asleep state of mind. Most importantly, I was showered with love and uplifted by bright smiles and positive attitudes. I left feeling strengthened by the loving energy, rejuvenated by the caring
services, and encouraged to come back!
Returning a week later, again as a day guest, I learned to respect my own voice in their expressive writing workshop; I learned that it isn't easy to allow myself to be cared for, but it was possible and necessary. I also learned the necessity of one day providing women in every state in America with a place like Mary's Place, where they can heal
from the inside out. I was convinced that Mary's Place by the Sea was to become an integral component of my treatment, healing, and recovery! I'm grateful for having to step into this house of healing and comfort, to learn to care for myself. Because of this experience, I can pass on what I learned to my daughter and other young women in my life
about the importance of self-care and wellness to break the cycle of us women putting ourselves last.
Message from Our Founders
Happy New Year!
We cannot believe the month of February is already upon us. Time seems to be flying by as we respond to the continual demand for respite care.
MPBTS Board of Directors at the 2016 Ocean Front Bash!–Pictured Left to Right: Michele McMahon, Board Member; Patty O’Neill, Secretary; Maria McKeon, Co-Founder; Michele Gannon, Co-Founder; David Armstrong, Chairman of the Board; Jeff Bassett, Treasurer; Mary Ann LaSardo, Vice Chair; Karen Carolonza, Board Member. Not pictured: Board Members Ginny Whipple Berkner
and Jeanne Reichardt
2016 was a transformative year for Mary’s Place by the Sea. Our organization combined with A Time for ME, moved into an extraordinary new home and provided services for 361 women despite being open for only seven months.
Kara Grimes joined the Mary’s Place team in January as the Director of Communications. Kara brings several years of non-profit event planning, fundraising, and communications experience to Mary’s Place. With a degree in Writing from Moravian College, she was seeking a new role that would utilize her passion for storytelling in a more formal and impactful
way. When Kara read about the mission of Mary’s Place by the Sea, she was instantly drawn to the organization.
Mary's Place by the Sea in-house chef, Catherine Russo, creates tasty, plant-based dishes, which help to strengthen our guests' immune systems and show that simple easy cooking can be done at home in minutes.