This is the response from a guest as she sat on the front steps of Mary’s Place by the Sea preparing to depart after a two night retreat. I had asked her how she was feeling after being with us for a few days. Her face was relaxed, she had the most beautiful smile and I watched from the window as the guests said their “goodbyes” on the sidewalk. Tears streaming…

Hello! I hope this note finds you all well and enjoying the summer with your loved ones. We are quite busy at Mary’s Place by the Sea with a house full of guests each retreat, and a Virtual Program with more than 400 participants monthly.  The gratitude from our guests is flowing freely as is the laughter and chatter we hear daily. Our guests are grateful to be with one another, they are grateful for the “pause” of their daily responsibilities and they are grateful for the self-care tips they learn in our program. We are becoming a part of the lives of women experiencing cancer and we couldn’t be more grateful to all who make that possible. 

On behalf of our Mary’s Place Team, a heartfelt THANK YOU to our volunteers, our practitioners, our Board of Trustees and our donors for believing in our mission and making it possible to support nearly 500 women per month AT NO COST to them. You are just amazing!

We hope to see you at our Walk-a-thon October 15, 2022 so we can thank you in person! Enjoy the last few weeks of summer and don’t forget to take care of yourself.

Much love and gratitude,

Michele Gannon

Executive Director & Co-Founder

Mary’s Place by the Sea
Isabel Gachko
Theology Teacher
Mary’s Place by the Sea
Yoga, Mindful Meditation
& Healing Touch Practitioner
What drew you to our mission? 

I lost my mom to cancer and my dad also struggled with cancer. I know some of the challenges of dealing with this illness. I believe that providing a holistic, caring, compassionate place where women can find peace, solidarity and kindness is instrumental in the healing process.
How would you describe what you do for our guests?

I practice gentle yoga flow and mindful meditation which includes breathing techniques, mindful movement, body scans and guided meditation. I am also a Healing Touch practitioner.
What has been the most rewarding part of what you do? 

Sharing time with these incredible women is the most rewarding part of what I do. They are so brave, strong, fun and loving. When I hear that someone has benefited from a practice that I offer or has incorporated one of the practices into their life I am so grateful!
In what way (ways) are you a different person today because of your role here at Mary’s Place?

I think that I have become more aware of what others are going through in their lives and hope that I have become more compassionate and caring. I have also been inspired to learn more about what I can do to help others.
Name the top two or three lessons you have learned from your experience.

I have learned that all of us are deeply connected and can benefit from caring for each other. I have also learned that the practices of yoga, meditation, Reiki, and prayer, that have evolved from the many religions of the world, offer a path to healing, compassion and lovingkindness.
How does your experience reveal what Mary’s Place by the Sea is all about?

Mary’s Place is all about love, being loved and loving others. It’s what you feel as soon as you walk in the front door or connect virtually with the women.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with Mary’s Place and their guests. It is an honor to share time with the women guests and the women who make Mary’s Place special.
Love Notes from our Guests
“God Bless Mary’s Place, it is a life-saver! I came in feeling heartbroken, alone and defeated and met so many kind, caring, compassionate women. My faith in humanity is restored! Thank you all.”

~J.,  Guest of Mary’s Place by the Sea
Orange Salad with Medjool Dates and Pistachios
Recipe by Chef Cathy Russo, from Mary’s Place by the Sea Cookbook Volume II “From Our Home to Yours”
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, zested first and zest set aside for garnish1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, zested first and zest set aside for garnish1 teaspoon Dijon mustard1 clove garlic, minced4 tablespoons safflower oil¼ teaspoon kosher salt⅛ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup raw unsweetened coconut flakes½ red onion, thinly sliced5 medium navel oranges1 small container of baby arugula¼ cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates¼ cup pistachios¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn

Put vinegar, orange juice, lime juice, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil while whisking continuously. Set aside.

Put coconut flakes in a dry sauté pan set over low heat and toast for a few minutes until lightly browned.

Put the red onion slices in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes before draining. This will remove some of the bite and bitterness. 

Using a very sharp knife, remove the rind and white pith from the orange. Slice into ¼ inch thick rounds.

Put the arugula in a bowl and dress lightly with 2 tablespoons of the dressing and a pinch of kosher salt. Toss gently to combine. 

Place arugula on a serving platter and arrange orange slices on top. Sprinkle dates, nuts and coconut over the orange slices. Scatter the drained red onion slices and torn mint leaves over the salad. Drizzle a little more dressing over the whole salad and finish with a light garnish of black pepper and reserved orange and lime zest.
Farewell to Outgoing Board Members
Dave Armstrong has served as a Board Trustee for twelve years and the Founding Chair of the Board for 8 years, from 2009-2017. Throughout his time as Chair, Dave has provided consistent and thoughtful servant leadership; he has been instrumental in helping us to establish our non-profit structure, govern our mission, build a new home from the ground up, and serve over 13,000 guests. Dave’s kind and caring influence has set the tone for our Board of Trustees and Staff. We are forever grateful to Dave for the clear-sightedness, sensitivity, and grace that have been the hallmarks of his tenure on the Board. 
Jeanne Reichert has been a Board Trustee for 11 years. She served as Board Treasurer from 2009-2016, while also being our Accountant for Mary’s Place by the Sea through the firm Donato, Hayes and Co. CPA’s. Jeanne’s expertise in financial literacy has been instrumental in our fundraising and strategic planning initiatives through the years. We have appreciated and are grateful for her insight, ideas, and dedication. 
Welcome New Board Members
Dr. Alison Ankiewicz, PT
Owner and founder of Inner Dynamics Physical Therapy Pelvic Health and Wellness Center. Click here to read more about Alison
Jill Govel-Gwydir
Development and Communications Manager at Lunch Break. Click here to read more about Jill
Joseph Konzelmann
Partner and Global Head of the Client and Capital Formation Group at TPG. Click here. to learn more about Joe
Since our founding in 2009, the Board of Trustees has been instrumental in laying the foundation for our organization. The last 13 years have required very hard work by our Trustees as they put structure in place gradually and organically, helping our mission to become what it is today. As Trustees, Dave and Jeanne have supported, guided, and understood the passion with which each staff member works, to best serve the Mary’s Place Community. Their expertise and guidance has helped sustain and strengthen our mission through challenging times and will for many years to come. As we welcome these new trustees, we are grateful for the solid foundation that has prepared our organization for future growth and success in this next exciting chapter for Mary’s Place by the Sea.
Thank You for Supporting our Golf Outing!
Thank you to all who came out for a wonderful day of golf and fundraising for our guests! We loved being together to celebrate our mission and be reminded of our “WHY”, while raising over $60,000 to benefit the guests of Mary’s Place.Thank you for your generosity and love.
Calendar of Events
11th Annual Walk-A-thon and 4th Annual 5K Run
Saturday, October 15th
Ocean Pathway in Ocean Grove, New Jersey
11th Annual Quincy Mumford Holiday Show to benefit Mary's Place
Friday, December 9th at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ 
Take a Virtual Tour of Mary’s Place by the Sea
Sponsored by Nicole and Joseph Konzelmann
Mary’s Place Cookbook Volume II 
from our home to yours
Mary’s Place Cookbook Volume II 
"From Our Home to Yours" is over 150 pages of nutritious, plant-based recipes and beautiful full page photos, this cookbook makes a beautiful gift for a friend or loved one!

Our hope is that you will use these recipes to nourish your mind, body and soul. Every one of these recipes has been carefully crafted in love, and we hope that you too will share them with and prepare them for the loved ones in your life. 
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.