The Power of One For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation

We invite you to read a note from Marci Schankweiler, our Founder & CEO.

Margaret Mead once famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This powerful quote resonates deeply with our journey at FPS, embodying the essence of what we've achieved together.

From the humble wish of Pete Bossow, Jr., who envisioned offering respite to young cancer patients like himself, FPS has grown exponentially over the past twenty-three years. Thanks to Pete's vision and the collective effort of each one of you, we've touched the lives of over 11,000 individuals, providing moments of joy and respite amidst their battles with cancer.

Your unwavering support has been the cornerstone of our success. Whether through the donation of time, resources, or talent, each contribution has played a pivotal role in ensuring that our FPS Families experience transformative Respite Experiences. This support has been instrumental in affirming that cancer does not define the lives of those we serve.

In this moment of reflection, we want to thank you for your dedication to our mission. The stories of our Respite Recipients, from the first to the ten-thousandth, are a testament to the difference we've made together. These narratives are not just numbers; they are profound reminders of the impact of our collective efforts.

As we continue our mission, we invite you to join us in celebrating the incredible journey we've embarked upon, inspired by the belief that a small group of committed individuals can indeed change the world. Thank you for being a part of this change and for your continued support of FPS.

Together, we are making a difference, one Respite Experience at a time.

With Gratitude, Marci Schankweiler,

One person can impact the lives of thousands.

Pete Bossow, the first Respite Recipient

FPS began from the vision of one person, Pete Bossow, Jr. who sought to provide young cancer patients with the same respite and relief he experienced. Twenty-three years later, FPS has reached a monumental milestone, serving its 10,000th person. Thanks to Pete's determination during his own cancer battle, countless cancer patients and their families have discovered healing, rejuvenation, and the transformative power of respite. Below, we invite you to explore the journey of FPS through videos featuring stories from several of the individuals and families we've had the privilege to support over the years.

FPS In The News

In 2023, For Pete's Sake (FPS) garnered national attention with features in two prestigious magazines. People Magazine spotlighted our organization in January, followed by Woman's Day in May. Both publications interviewed our Founder & CEO, Marci Schankweiler, and several Respite Recipients. Through these articles, readers were introduced to the transformative impact of respite and the inspiring journeys of our FPS families, highlighting the profound difference FPS makes in the lives of those facing cancer.

Smiles and memories you helped create this past year on respite at Woodloch Resort.

Working with our dedicated nominators, we served 579 people with respite!

The Travel Respite Experience allows adult cancer patients, their caregivers, and their children the opportunity to spend transformational time together in an environment away from home. They create priceless, magical, memorable moments through this unique gift of time together. Each respite week, a group of up to 10 families travel to Woodloch Resort in Hawley, PA, accompanied by an FPS Facilitator. Families enjoy ample alone time, their own private accommodations, and daily activities led by our facilitator to unite the group and address the many aspects of family health in peril because of a cancer diagnosis.

For those too ill to travel, we provide Staycation respite experiences. The FPS Staycation program equips families with resources for respite, reflection and financial relief when a family is unable to travel due to advanced stage cancer. This opportunity allows families to connect and create magical moments within their own homes.

This snapshot is for one year. Click below for a full demographic summary.

Our Health Pillars

Cancer profoundly impacts every facet of a family's life. Our program is built around seven FPS Health Pillars, designed to strengthen a family's well-being throughout the cancer journey. These pillars—family, mental, physical, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, and financial health—are the cornerstones of our program, guiding us in crafting a personalized Respite Experience for each nominated family. Below are a few examples of these Health Pillars in action and respite's transformative power, offering a testament to the holistic support and care we dedicate to each family's unique needs.

FPS hosts five Signature Events throughout the year. These include our Golf Tournament, Fashion Show, FPS Gala, For Pete's Sake, Walk and NYC Happy Hour. Thank you to our attendees, volunteers, sponsors, and FPS Families for making these events so special and sharing our mission with new and existing supporters!

Our 2022 Golf Tournament raised $97,060! Pictured here is Glen Guerrette, Brian Price, George Boyd and John Beerer, as they golfed at Commonwealth Country Club.

Our 2022 Fashion Show at Presidential Caterers was a huge success and raised $92,793. Stunning fashions were presented by Louella of Way and Respite Recipients rocked the runway. A special thank you to our Fashion Show committee headed by Alice Anne Bossow and Rosemary Stout for their hard work!

During the Fashion Show, we paid tribute to longtime For Pete's Sake friend, Jeanne Dolaway who was a founding supporter and instrumental in the success of our Fashion Show. We will forever cherish Jeanne’s inspirational message about “the power of one” and her unyielding commitment to our mission and families facing cancer.

It was a beautiful night at our 2023 FPS Gala, where we raised $157,509! We honored the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute team with our Gratitude Award for their commitment to nominating patients to our program. Loyal supporters Susan Polacek and her daughter, Sarah, are pictured with fellow Gala attendees.

We returned to Citizens Bank Park for our For Pete's Sake, Walk! presented by Essent on April 30, 2022. We welcomed 880 walkers to the ballpark to ensure no families facing cancer walk alone. Our walkers and sponsors helped us raise $128,859 towards our mission! Respite Recipient Jasmine Williams is featured here along with her family enjoying a picture in the dugout.

Our Annual NYC Happy Hour was a huge success raising $118,712! Our NY Supporters are captured here enjoying drinks and food and coming together to celebrate our mission at Bounce Sporting Club. Thank you to our NY council for ensuring this event returned with much success: Miranda Ma, Peter Ma, Colleen Koh, Cayla Cheng, Mike Gentile, Cameron Neely, Carol Perez and Rob Piszko.

Revenue from all events includes Annual Appeal donations received at the event.

Our Respite Reinforced efforts resulted in 26,778 touchpoints for FPS Families in one year!

For families in the FPS program, we offer ongoing support beyond the respite that assists them as their journey with cancer continues. This support continues to address our seven health pillars through in-person events, online education, and access to additional resources, including bereavement care. Our Annual Beach Day and Pancakes for Pete are two family favorite in-person events that provide opportunities for our FPS Families to reconnect with each other and build their support network.

Respite Recipients enjoy "Pancakes for Pete" at Blue Bell Country Club, generously donated by Bud Hansen.
Our Beach Day each June brings together over 100 patients, caregivers and children in our Cancer Respite Program to reconnect, make new friends and make more memories together as a family!

Our community events are 100% volunteer led and raise critical funds and awareness for our mission! We are grateful to every person, school, church and company that hosted a fundraiser to help provide families with FPS Respite! Here are a few events that took place in 2022-2023.

St. Joe's Prep represented FPS at their "Pink the Rink " event, an annual fundraiser that benefited FPS this year. St. Joe's Prep took on their long-time rival, La Salle College High School, in a game that was much more than a competition. It proved to be a unified effort to support a noble cause.

This event successfully raised $6,000 in support of respite!

The Susan Fazio Foundation Golf Outing on 5.15.23 raised $28,676, benefitting FPS! This annual event took place at North Hills Country Club and is in memory of Susan, who lost a five-month battle with melanoma at the young age of 55.

A special thank you to Chris Fazio and their family for their commitment to advocating for FPS.

A special thank you goes out to Tony DiBrino for his incredible dedication and effort. For the past 12 years, Tony has participated in the Captain Bill Gallagher 10-mile run in Sea Isle City, making remarkable strides in support of FPS. This year alone, he raised over $10,000, a testament to his commitment to the cause. Tony runs to honor the memory of his friend, Gino Francescangeli, who lost his battle with cancer at 62, leaving behind a legacy and four children. Tony's participation not only commemorates Gino's life but also makes a significant impact in the lives of those we serve at FPS.

The Salamone Family, who received an FPS Respite in the past, have turned their gratitude into action by giving back annually. They host "Bumping for a Break", a fun volleyball fundraiser to support FPS.

FUN and FUNdraising – FPS provides initiatives like "Bouncing for a Break" and "Take a Break Clubs" to engage students and foster a spirit of philanthropy within them. These programs bring joy and excitement and cultivate a culture of giving back and supporting those in need.

We pride ourselves on being excellent stewards of our donors' dollars. Therefore, we support a culture of complete transparency in our operations and fiscal spending. We are one of only 200 organizations nationwide to hold the PANO Standards for Excellence Accreditation and we hold the Guidestar Platinum Seal. We are rated a 4 star charity by Charity Navigator and a top-rated nonprofit by GreatNonprofits!

FPS prides itself on sustainability.

We want to ensure we will always be here for future families in the cancer crisis.

Because of this, we launched an endowment in 2015 which is permanently restricted for FPS’ future. We also have a planned giving program and a charitable remainder unit trust. These revenue sources account for some of the additional income reported in our financials. Our finance and audit committees are comprised of professionals in their fields and they manage our assets. When you invest in FPS, you invest in a nonprofit you can trust.

By supporting our mission, you directly assist families grappling with the challenges of cancer today, offering them a much-needed reprieve from the daunting reality of cancer. Our "Mission Possible" initiative offers donors the opportunity to contribute specifically to FPS Travel Respites. Following each respite, donors receive heartfelt video testimonies, creating a personal connection to the impact of their generosity. These donations, along with our Monthly Memory Maker donations, are restricted to directly support our program.

Take, for example, the story of Peter, a courageous 44-year-old facing colorectal cancer, with a prognosis of just two years. Starting treatment, Peter and his wife, wed three months after his diagnosis, have been inseparable partners in his journey. Thanks to a nomination from the Lehigh Valley Topper Cancer Institute and the heartfelt generosity of our FPS Community, Peter, and his wife embarked on a transformative Travel Respite in January 2023. Peter's moving testimony, shared in his video, highlights the profound impact of this experience.

We invite you to discover more inspiring stories like Peter's on our Mission Possible page. You will be touched by the resilience of our FPS Families and see firsthand how your support makes a meaningful difference.


Our Healing, Hope and Happiness endowment aims to be the primary source from which perpetual respite support continues year after year. Thank to you our endowment donors.

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 you to give in honor or in memory of a loved one! If you have already named For Pete’s Sake in your estate, please email to let her know.

Every donor plays a role in making For Pete's Sake a viable organization. We thank each one of these donors for their generous support!

We remember those who are no longer with us and are thankful for our supporters who make such meaningful gifts in memory of loved ones.

We celebrate the members of our community who donate their birthdays, anniversaries and more!

Cancer has impacted Alex and his family more than once as he lost his father to pancreatic cancer nine years ago. Alex was diagnosed with Ewin's Sarcoma on his 20th birthday. Despite his diagnosis, he is determined to graduate college with the support of his mom, Lori, who has been with him to every appointment and juggles her work schedule to spend time with him. Alex's nominator at Abransom Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital knew that Alex needed time to be young and experience normalcy away from treatment. The For Pete’s Sake Community provided Alex and his family with a Travel Respite to Woodloch Resort in May! Upon return from respite, Alex shared: Thank you so much for my Respite Experience; I was able to spend quality time with family, something that gets harder to do as I get older. The trip was incredibly fun and full of memories. His mom, Lori, also shared: At home, our daily conversations always seem to have at some point something related to Alex’s cancer. While on respite we made a deal to not talk about cancer. For the time we were on respite, I did not think about cancer. We just had fun as a family. Sadly, we learned that Alex passed away on April 2, 2024. We want to dedicate this Annual Report in his honor.

Your steadfast support, through donations of time, resources and talent, has been crucial in providing transformative Respite Experiences for our FPS Families, proving that cancer does not define them. As we reflect, we sincerely thank you for your commitment to our mission. Every story, from the first to the ten-thousandth Respite Recipient, underscores the significant difference that transformative Respite Experiences make on the hundreds of FPS Families we serve. If you'd like to contribute to our mission , please email or call the office at 267.708.0510.

Sincerely, The FPS Board of Directors and Staff

Thank You for Your Support!