Stewart’s Caring Place is a haven for those affected by cancer and all services are free

Butterfly Gala 33 1022
The biggest fundraiser of the year, the Butterfly Gala embodies hope, joy and transformation.

By Laura Briedis

When Mimi Surloff founded Stewart’s Caring Place in 2004 as a way to honor her late husband and help other families going through their own cancer journeys, she wanted to create a place that shows there is so much more to cancer than chemotherapy and surgery.

And now, almost 20 years later, this wellness cancer center continues to expand—both in its reach and its facility.

Serving 22 counties throughout the state and offering more than 150 programs—at no cost to individuals and families affected by cancer—Stewart’s Caring Place moved into a new facility in 2020 and keeps adding more non-medical wraparound support services every year.

When you walk through the doors, you feel like you are in a spa-like oasis—by design. “Our goal is to provide a calm, relaxing place to help all those affected by cancer,” says Sarah Vojtek, director of development for Stewart’s Caring Place.

This year, Stewart’s Caring Place started displaying local artists’ photos and prints in the hallway and added an outdoor pavilion as an extra gathering space where visitors can be one with nature.

From healing arts suites offering reiki and massage at no charge to those affected by cancer, to a kitchen where you can learn how to cook healthy recipes, to a wig and beauty room with complimentary wigs and scarves, everything at Stewart’s Caring Place has been thoughtfully planned to support both cancer patients going through treatment as well as cancer survivors.

This past year, the center started displaying local artists’ photos and prints in the hallway and added an outdoor pavilion as an extra gathering space where visitors can be one with nature.

“Research shows that art has a healing aspect, so we added an art gallery in the hallway that spotlights local artists,” says Sarah. “Not only are we bringing attention to local artists, but the art adds a therapeutic value to those we serve.”

The current exhibit, which runs through mid-January, features photography of local artists Charlotte Gintert, David Lile, Igor Oliyarnik and Thomas Skala.

The current exhibit, which runs through mid-January, features photography of local artists Charlotte Gintert, David Lile, Igor Oliyarnik and Thomas Skala.

As part of the 12,000-square-foot center, there also is an art room for children and adults, where they can express their emotions. Whether an artist or not, doodling, drawing and painting can be therapeutic outlets.

“Remember to always think of us when you or someone you know has been impacted by a cancer diagnosis,” says Jeannine Marks, executive director. “We are here to support you.”

20th Anniversary Events
Epitomizing the little engine that could, Stewart’s Caring Place has touched the lives of so many since the nonprofit was founded two decades ago. To commemorate its 20th anniversary next year, Stewart’s is celebrating all the families who have come through its doors for supportive services and programs on their cancer journey.

“We are planning a year-long celebration,” says Sarah. “ As with everything we do, we will tailor our events and programs to those of all ages touched by any phase of cancer—including individuals, families and their caregivers.”

Save the date for these 2023 community events that benefit Stewart’s Caring Place:

  • Hope Walk — Saturday, May 6: Show support for those touched by cancer by helping to raise money that makes it possible to offer services and programs at no cost to those affected by cancer.
  • Butterfly Gala — Saturday, August 26: The biggest fundraiser of the year, this fun gala embodies hope, joy and transformation.

Stay updated by visiting StewartsCaringPlace.orgthroughout the year for more events in your area.

Stewart’s Caring Place is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The center is located at 3501 Ridge Park Drive in Fairlawn. For more information, call 330-836-1772 or visit StewartsCaringPlace.org.