The For Pete's Sake beach outing gives patients and their families a break from the emotional and physical toll of cancer.


For cancer survivors and their families, spending a day at the beach in Sea Isle City to enjoy family and friends can help them decompress and leave the troubles behind for a while.

That is where the nonprofit organization For Pete’s Sake (FPS) Cancer Respite Foundation comes in. Each year, Marci Schankweiler, founder/CEO of FPS, organizes a day at the beach for families fighting cancer, called, “Take a Break Day at the Beach.”

This year, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29, about 60 families with more than 150 people will join at Schankweiler’s Sea Isle home. Then they will go to the beach at 46th Street and spend the day having fun, enjoying old and new friendships, swimming and lounging on the beach.

“We have quite a day planned,” Schankweiler said in an interview Friday. “There is something so soothing about the water and that in itself seems to help families relax, rejuvenate and refresh. That is what we want people to have. Their journeys are tough.”

Families come together for a Boat Build activity as part of the recent FPS respite at Woodloch this month. (Photo courtesy of Marci Schankweiler)

For years, For Pete’s Sake has offered the day at the beach with the help of local businesses that donate to the event.

This year, Maryanne Pastry Shoppe is supplying a breakfast. Uncle Oogie’s Pizzeria is providing lunch on the beach and Mike’s Seafood & Dock Restaurant will be preparing post-beach food trays. Sands Department Store will donate “Sand Dollars” for families to shop in their store. They will also receive a gift to commemorate the day, Schankweiler noted.

“This is a day that our town and the community really rally around families,” she said.

The day at the Sea Isle beach is just one of the many events that For Pete’s Sake does to help families during their battle against cancer.

The foundation and sponsors team up to send cancer patients and their family members on vacation destinations, including Woodloch Resort in Hawley, Pa.

The name For Pete’s Sake was inspired by Schankweiler’s late first husband, Peter Bossow Jr., a former Sea Isle lifeguard who died of testicular cancer in 1999 when he was just 30 years old.

Schankweiler, 53, grew up in Sea Isle as Marci Kuttler, the daughter of Mariann and Herb Kuttler. The Kuttler family has owned the Maryanne Pastry Shoppe in Sea Isle for more than 50 years.

Seven months before Pete passed away, Pete and Marci traveled to the Caribbean islands of St. John and Nevis during a trip paid for by their friends and family.

Marci Schankweiler, right, the founder and chief executive officer of For Pete’s Sake, is joined by Carol Schwind, a nurse with the organization during a 2019 outing.

During the trip, they came up with the idea of creating For Pete’s Sake to give other cancer patients and their caregivers a “respite” from the disease. Since its founding in 2000, the organization and its sponsors have helped more than 9,000 cancer patients and their families.

Schankweiler said helping families with days at the beach and vacation getaways is what it is all about.

“Our families are special, and we look forward to celebrating with them at this annual event,” she said.

For those who can’t make the event but would still like to volunteer or sign up to take part in an event to help the foundation, there is a Cornhole For Cancer friendly competition at 4 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Excursion Park. People can volunteer or sign up for the event at Maryanne Pastry Shoppe.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help in any way for “Take a Break Day at the Beach,” email info at or call the office at 267-708-0510.

For Pete’s Sake hosts cornhole tournaments to help raise funds to send families dealing with cancer on trips. (Photo courtesy of For Pete’s Sake)