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Rocky Mountain Candlelighters for Childhood Cancer was founded in the 1970s by parents of children with cancer who felt there were inadequate services for their families. The first services offered were paraprofessional self-help support groups at Primary Children?s Medical Center. The hospital supported the early years of the organization, including paying staff for the Candlelighters director and patient coordinator. In 1996, Candlelighters was incorporated as a non-profit corporation in Utah.
By 2001, Candlelighters had received its tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity. Services expanded to include those at Primary Children?s as well as services for children and their families outside the hospital. A Candlelighters breakroom was installed at the hospital as a place for parents to shower, eat, relax, and maintain contact with family and friends. With expansion of the hospital in 2006, the Parent?s Breakroom was eliminated. The organization is now totally independent of Primary Children?s Medical Center and housed in its own offices in downtown Salt Lake City.