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Mary Ellen Nantais of Ocean View

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Nantais is founder and chairwoman of The Justin W. Jennings Foundation, which operates Justin’s Beach House for families battling cancer. Justin Jennings, one of Nantais’ three children, died at age 19 from brain cancer. After Justin’s death, Nantais and her husband, Craig, retired early and moved to the beach (Justin’s favorite place) to raise funds for the foundation. Beach house guests this year have ranged in age from 2 to 87 and include people from six states and 20 referring hospitals. Says Nantais, “I know that Justin is saying, ‘respect the day’ and that’s fabulous!”
 

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