True philanthropy is at work here in Killington as town resident
Taylor Glaze offers her home as a site for a new cancer retreat
center, Forest Moon.
Glaze is a cancer survivor herself, and was so moved by her
experience at her first Forest Moon retreat last August that she
decided to join the cause. Glaze, now retired, says everything came
together at the right time. "After [my retreat] was over, I decided
I needed to do something to help others have this wonderful
experience that I had," she said, "I want to be here to help and to
Forest Moon is a non-profit organization based in
Brattleboro, Vt. founded in 2004 by cancer survivors Cindy and Phil
Blood of Gilford, Vt. It's mission is to provide
affordable, activity-based support programs to improve the well
being of cancer survivors and their loved ones in New England.
Retreat workshops offered at Forest Moon sites help cancer
survivors process emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological
traumas associated with their cancer. Glaze explains
that workshops are intended to help cancer survivors readjust
after the last chemotherapy session. "It is such a catharsis and a
relief to be in the company of other people who get it,"
Weekend sessions involve art, sculpture, collage and dance, as
well as therapeutic time talking and getting to know other
participants and their similar struggles. It is designed to
offer a supportive community for individuals whose lives have
changed dramatically, often leaving them feeling lonely and
unsure of the next step.
Glaze decided to turn her home into a retreat center
for Forest Moon because she feels that "This is really
the next step we need in this whole cancer issue," she said. "You
need to help the survivors readjust." Glaze recalls the healing
process of "being surrounded by absolute strangers, very well
trained and professional facilitators, in a very calm setting, and
things that you would never even want to tell your family or your
children-because you don't want to burden them-you wind up
discussing. It is such a catharsis."
Glaze has not only donated the space, but also her services as a
chef and a nutrition expert for the retreats.
The spacious post and beam home was built for Glaze and her
husband in 2007 and can accommodate up to 12 guests comfortably.
Glaze designed the home herself, including a lofted painting
studio, massage room, and small pool used for water exercises. The
home will be open for Forest Moon program participants to enjoy,
free of cost.
Glaze has had a long love with Killington after living in town
for 10 years from 1965 to 1975. While she moved to an avocado ranch
in California to raise her three boys, she never forgot Vermont. In
2001, Glaze was lured back to Killington, where she married a
long-time friend and life-long Vermonter, Red Glaze. The couple
opened a Killington restaurant, Café Toast, which has since become
Dominic's Upscale Pizza Joint and is run by her son and
daughter-in-law, Nick and Stephanie Chiarella.
While Glaze's home will now provide space for lodging
and dining during seminars, most of the programs and projects will
occur in a building detached from the house. Affectionately called
"the Cupola" after its decorative rooftop "hat," this
specially designed building will host the majority of
The new retreat site is located on Dean Hill Rd, just off the
Killington access road, and will host its first retreat session
July 21-22 called "One in Eight: The Torso Project." It will
be a craft workshop that provides participants
the opportunity to make a unique plaster cast of their torso
and later decorate it. This process is intended to help breast
cancer survivors face issues surrounding body image and provide a
forum for discussion and sharing.
All Forest Moon retreat seminars are offered to participants
free or at low cost and include lodging,
meals, workshops and programs. Each is run by
facilitators who are also cancer survivors and are supported by
individual donations and grants from charitable
Glaze hopes to gain enough local aid from
the Killington area to support each seminar offered
at her home. Among those who've already taken early action, is
social worker Jessica Greco of Foley Cancer Center.
Greco will be working to spread word of the new center in the
area among her contacts and colleagues at Rutland Regional Medical
Center's Woman to Woman Cancer Support Group.