For Pete's Sake® Cancer Respite Foundation Your Impact on Families Facing Cancer in our 2016-2017 Year

A Message From Our Founder


This catchy phrase has caught our attention the past few months, and I can’t help but think that this phrase encompasses the essence of our FPS respite vacation program – precious days spent together that goes beyond time well spent to #TransformationalTime that impacts lives forever.

This annual report captures by photo a moment in time for dozens of our families – time to celebrate community, time to hug, time to hold a hand, time to be goofy, time to try something new, time to soak in the sun, time to do a puzzle, time to take a swim, time to be present with your loved ones.

So take a minute and page through this report - reflect on the moments and memories YOU created for so many young families in the cancer crisis. I promise you – this is #TimeWellSpent that celebrates the #TransformationalTime our families share together. Time is a gift – and you unwrap this gift for hundreds each year. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Marci Schankweiler, FPS Founder and CEO

Contact Marci at Marci@takeabreakfromcancer.org or at 215-416-7489

In our 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, 469 people traveled (127 patients, 142 caregivers and 200 children). This is a record breaking number for FPS!

Between our program inquiries and ancillary support contacts, over 1,000 people were provided with invaluable resources that brought kindness and compassion to the emotional, psycho-social, spiritual and financial anguish caused by a cancer diagnosis.

Our families traveled to the Caribbean, the Jersey Shore, the Poconos and other Pennsylvania resort destinations, Florida, Maine, South Carolina and Virginia!
Lewis Moraschi, age 49, was diagnosed with lymphoma in April 2016. Lewis was nominated for a break from cancer by his Oncology team at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He told us that his children, wife and he would be so thankful for the chance to take a trip together. He believed the trip would help ease the burden and thoughts of cancer, and the time spent together would be filled with such joy! FPS sent the family on vacation to a donated vacation home in Hilton Head, SC. Upon return, Lewis told us, “After a few days on this break from cancer, I was able to change my focus from coping with life and work to having fun, relaxing and paying greater attention to my family members and having fun with each of them! This trip made me realize that I can and will take a more positive, calm approach to daily living. Thank you!”

For Pete's Sake is a compassionate and responsive community!

We hosted 11 Lunch Bunch Events, 1 Traveler Reception, 1 Community Day at the Phillies, our Adopt a Family Christmas Gift program (helping make the holidays brighter for 45 families) and welcomed dozens of patients and their caregivers to our gala, fashion show, golf tournament and walk! We launched a monthly self-care newsletter for our patients and caregivers, and have been overjoyed by the connections made within our patient and caregiver community through these moments to take a break. These special events and communication outlets allow us to make over 630 touchpoints with our families each year.

Our Lunch Bunches have grown immensly since we launched them 2 years ago! So many FPS families enjoy special time together, and the chance to connect with other patients and caregivers. Friendships have been formed, and the FPS staff enjoys this day of the month as a special chance to form bonds with the kind people we serve.
A special thank you to our generous donor who purchased tickets for FPS Families to attend a community day at the Philadelphia Phillies! Our annual Phillies game is a way for Philadelphia-area families to once again take a break from cancer and focus on food and fun instead of treatment schedules and doctor appointments!

Our Annual Traveler Reception

Our Traveler Reception is a complimentary Holiday Party for those in our respite vacation program. It's a special time to celebrate the triumphs of the year, and look forward to a hopeful future. We are grateful for this day together!

The Lahetta Family traveled to Florida in 2016 and told us, "What you do for families touches and refreshes the soul."

The Floyd Family traveled to Maine in 2016 and told us, "We made new friends and created wonderful memories!"

The Gonzalez Family traveled to Florida in 2016 and told us, “After the year that our family went through, this respite together was so good for us!"

Children of our adult cancer patients enjoy special time together at FPS Events!

The Snipes Family traveled to Florida in 2017 and told us, "Our family had a wonderful time. We would like to thank all the people who helped create this remarkable experience for us."

The Burns Family traveled to Jamaica on a trip donated by Apple Vacations and told us, "Our hospital admission bracelet was traded for admission to a beautiful, all inclusive resort. We didn't have to worry about a thing!"

Our Outcomes

For Pete's Sake has been capturing qualitative and quantative outcomes since 2005, and compiles them monthly. Our results have stayed steady over the years, with a continued 100% of nominators reporting post-respite improvement in the patient, caregiver and children's ability to cope with cancer. We welcome you to view these outcomes on our website!

After years of data collection and conversations with our Travelers, we noticed our program has a long lasting impact, beyond the immediate emotional relief a break from cancer provides. FPS has modeled its program with a focus on the overall concept of coping with cancer by the entire family unit, including patient, caregiver and often, young children. With assistance from Dr. Natalie Hamrick and Dr. Ruth McCorkle, we identified four common themes associated with respite benefit: 1) Relationship Quality Among Family Members (includes spouses and children of varying ages), 2) Work and Life Endurance/ Renewed Stamina, 3) Patient Treatment Compliance post respite, and 4) Joy/Mental Break.

FPS extended its evidence-based program by compiling data immediately post respite, six months post respite and one year post respite for all participants, including patient, caregiver and children as it relates to the four above mentioned themes. This data is being collected to further support the necessity of respite as a family and social support to improve connections not only within the immediate family unit, but with other natural societal connections including those with one’s medical team, one’s work community, one’s neighborhood community and one’s extended community.

To date, 333 families have participated in the study. We have sent 1,005 total pre-respite surveys to participating patients, caregivers and children (age 8 and above). Participating families are given a three week time frame to complete their studies. We have received pre-respite surveys back from 229 families. Participating families are then given a post-respite survey to complete upon their return from respite. We have received post respite surveys from 126 families. Participating families are surveyed again at the six- month post respite time frame, as well as the one year post respite time frame. We have received six month post respite surveys from 56 families and we have received one year post respite surveys from 27 families.

This data was initially reviewed and evaluated in March 2015 by Dr. Natalie Hamrick, Psychologist, inspirational speaker, and Founder of Healing Journey Ministries. Dr. Hamrick reported statistically significant findings in the above mentioned themes pre to post respite, to support our position that respite travel with FPS has a positive and long-lasting impact on the outlook of the patient, caregiver and family including: Improved happy mood, increased belief in the ability to cope with cancer, increased family team mentality and family communication.

This is tremendous news for FPS, because our goal is to be able to publish our final study results and present them at national oncology professional conferences via White Paper and Poster Presentations. We also hope to share the results with potential grant funders, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry to support our grant requests to enable FPS to continue to grow and serve families with a respite vacation to take a break from cancer.

“This vacation took me away from my thoughts of what I’m going through. I felt normal! It was so important for my husband and me to spend quality time together away from the ‘cancer life’. My entire family was happy to see me so happy! This kindness showed me that there are still wonderful people in this world trying to help each other.” – Joanna Gutermuth, age 41 with fallopian tube cancer, traveled with her husband to the Tides Inn in Virginia.

A Message from our Finance Officer

The fiscal year 2017 was an exciting one for FPS. Some highlights for which we can all be proud:

Our revenue continued to grow to over $1,500,000 this year with $100,000 allocated to our endowment. Included in our revenue is well over $450,000 of in-kind support in the form of complimentary office space, patient accommodations, professional and marketing services, respite supplies and special event goods and services. These non-cash contributions are critical to the organization’s success and allow us to best use our constituents’ dollars.

Over 1,000 attendees joined us at our four internal special events, which collectively raised $460,000. We had tremendous growth from our supporters, including patients, our Young Friends Committee and our New York Chapter members who host Community Events on our behalf. These supports increased the size of their events as well as the number of events to net over $230,000 for FPS. We continue to be amazed at the dedication of our supporters!

Our Net Assets grew to over $1,900,000 including capital assets of our two respite vacation homes in Florida and our Endowment Fund.

Thank you to the private individuals, private foundations, corporations and community who make For Pete’s Sake a reality for hundreds of families!


Amy Robinson, FPS Finance Officer

Contact Amy at Amy@takeabreakfromcancer.org

Our Signature Events give us a chance to take a break with our supporters, while raising funds to help families take a break from cancer! These totals include Annual Appeal donations collected at each event.

For Pete's Sake, Walk! hosted almost 1,400 walkers and raised $99,000.

The Beach Ball Gala, emceed by Adam Joseph, Meterologist, 6ABC, raised $241,200.

Our Fashion Show featured beautiful designs by Louella and raised $78,600.

Our Pete R. Bossow, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament was sold out and raised $41,300.

Joseph Wilson, age 44, was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2015. Joseph was nominated for a break from cancer by his oncology team at Lankenau Medical Center. Prior to his trip, Joseph told us "Since being diagnosed with cancer, it's been a challenge trying to get back to the fun loving and care-free family we used to be. The fear of not knowing what the future holds has taken residence in some of our thoughts, which I believe could become 'cancerous' in itself. I believe this respite vacation will 1. Focus on our family dynamics 2. Reconnect us and 3. Begin the healing process." FPS sent the family on vacation to our respite vacation home in Florida. Upon return, Joseph stated, "I can honestly say that cancer never crossed my mind. I was able to focus on what was important and right in front of me… My family and I being able to create forever memories!”


With a $3 million dollar goal, our Healing, Hope and Happiness endowment campaign aims to be the primary source from which perpetual respite support continues year after year. For Pete’s Sake, join us in creating what will be the future of our life-altering mission!

Our Monthly Memory Makers donate a designated amount to For Pete’s Sake each month as a way to sustain our mission. Each month, this gift gives families facing cancer the most precious gift of time together.

Our Planned Giving supporters have said “yes” to leaving a legacy of hope—a legacy that will forever link their life story to adult cancer patients and their families helped through For Pete’s Sake. No gift is too small and we encourage to give in honor or in memory of a loved one! If you have already named For Pete’s Sake in your estate, please let us know.

Our Travel Partners provide in-kind support to our program, including accommodations, airfare/rental car donations, gift certificates for food/entertainment and more! We are always looking for new Travel Partners, please contact us if you think you might be able to help.

The following donors contributed $500 or more within the fiscal year, a full list of annual donors is available upon request.

Some of our annual gifts were made to FPS in memory of loved ones and in honor of birthdays, weddings and special people:

Lori Skorka, age 44, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and a recurrence in 2015. Lori was nominated for a break from cancer by her oncology team at Community General Hospital. Lori's oldest son was having trouble concentrating in school because of his mom's diagnosis, and she wanted to giver her family a chance to enjoy time together. FPS sent the family to our respite vacation home in Florida. Upon return, Lori stated, "There are no words to explain the gratitude our family feels about having the opportunity to experience a respite week in Florida. Our three boys will be talking about it for years to come! We were able to share very special family time that we will cherish always."

Thank you for your support of our mission! You helped us transform hundreds of lives in one year! We'd also like to thank our volunteers who donate their time and talent so generously. We received 7,088 donated hours to support our program, administrative and fundraising needs. Additionally, we received $36,074 of donated professional nursing care! If you'd like to contribute to our mission in a meaningful way, please email Info@takeabreakfromcancer.org

Sincerely, The FPS Board of Directors and Staff

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