Nursing challenge

Standing, from left, nursing students Bret Tokash, Jerome Bautista, Kathleen Duncil, David Hummer, Kelly Richard. In front, from left, Matheny students Jameir Warren-Treadwell and Shane Szott.

“We learn how to administer medications and communicate with non-verbal patients. It’s a challenge, but it’s been a really good experience coming here.” That comment by Bret Tokash of Stockton, NJ, was typical of the reaction of his fellow Raritan Valley Community College classmates, all nursing students who visit Matheny regularly as part of our sponsored nursing school program.

Affiliations with nursing schools such as RVCC’s have created a greater nursing community for the special care that Matheny’s population requires. And the nursing students are a source of recruitment for Matheny’s nursing department. Because of the diverse needs of Matheny’s patients, nurses have to be knowledgeable and competent in a broad spectrum of practice applications.

Miles for Matheny 2015

Participants in the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk last year.

The 18th annual Miles for Matheny, Matheny’s annual fundraiser and community event, will be held on Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. This year the event will include a new Fitness Walk in addition to the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, five Cycling rides and a Kids Fun Run.

The signature event, of course, is the Wheelchair Walk, in which friends and families, along with Matheny staff, walk alongside more than 100 Matheny children and adults who “wheel” through the streets of downtown Peapack to the cheers of community members and other supporters.  The Cycling event offers a choice of 10-, 25-, 35- and 50-mile bike routes, plus the highly challenging “Hills of Attrition” endurance ride, all through the beautiful Somerset Hills countryside. The Kids Fun Run is open to children  ages 3–10, who are all winners—everyone receives a medal. The new one-mile Fitness Walk will precede the Wheelchair Walk, but all Fitness Walk participants are invited to join the wheelchair participants for a second mile around downtown Peapack. All participants and supporters will be able to indulge in The Friends of Matheny’s “Breakfast of Champions.”

Funds raised at Miles for Matheny will benefit programs and services that enhance the lives of the children and adults at Matheny and serve people with disabilities in the community. For more information, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260, or email For sponsorship opportunities, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 315, or email

Peapack-Gladstone residents cheer the Wheelchair Walk participants as they roll past 23 Mendham Road.

Mask madness

Some of the many masks that were auctioned off.

The bar and dining room at Verve Bistro in Somerville, NJ, was packed on February 18, Fat Tuesday, for the kickoff of the restaurant’s Mardi Gras With Matheny celebration, which continued for four more days, from February 19 thru February 22. The festivities included a mask auction, which began with silent bids on Fat Tuesday and culminated on the final day, along with a gumbo cook-off. There were also plenty of flashy decorations and trinkets, along with the traditional Mardi Gras beads.

Mask sales on Sunday, February 22, totaled $1,200. That, combined with partial proceeds from all five days resulted in Verve making a $2,500 donation to Matheny. Matheny staff and students contributed to the effort by making most of the masks that were hanging for sale in the bar area. Verve owner Rick St. Pierre is well known as someone who gives back to the community. In fact, in 2011, he was Somerset County’s citizen of the year. Thank you, Rick!

Some of the Matheny mask makers, clockwise, from left: Donna Sykes, Center of Medicine and Dentistry clinic manager; Haeree Park, Arts Access project and event coordinator; Eileen Murray, Arts Access director; Burt Brooks, Arts Access performing arts coordinator; and Jodi Miguel, adult services instructor.