What started out as a routine volunteer activity by some employees from Home Depot stores in Bridgewater, NJ, has developed into a solid, long-term partnership between the home improvement chain and Matheny.
Home Depot employees have built planters for The Matheny School science class . . . Raked and cleaned Matheny’s nature trail and ball field . . . Laid pavers in front of Matheny’s main entrance to create a visiting spot for parents and friends . . . Donated needed materials for other projects.
The relationship rose to a new level when Rich Aaron, an employee in one of the Bridgewater stores, approached his mother, Chris Aaron, who handles commercial materials dispatch and orders for Parsippany, NJ-based Tilcon New Jersey, a company that specializes in asphalt paving. Rich wanted to know if Tilcon would consider paving the 1,100-foot nature trail at Matheny. The trail has existed for years, but it had deteriorated, and the rough terrain made it inaccessible for Matheny’s students and patients, most of whom are in wheelchairs. The answer from Tilcon was, “yes”, and on Friday, June 24, a large crew of workers from Tilcon and Home Depot arrived early in the morning to complete the task.
Tilcon, said Joshua S. Benson, the company’s general manager, public relations/government affairs, “is proud to have been a part of this project, working closely with the Matheny School and The Home Depot. Repairing and improving the damage to the nature trail highlights Tilcon’s commitment to our community and its safe environment. We are pleased that the students will again be able to enjoy the nature trail for years to come.”
Larry Thornton, a resident of Pottersville, NJ, a member of Matheny’s Board of Trustees, and a regular volunteer at Matheny, first reached out to Bridgewater store managers John M. Pingitore and Jeff Pemberton a couple of years ago. “Words cannot express,” he said, “how all of us feel about the great works done by these two wonderful companies.”
Matheny student Jacob Rolaf, assisted by personal care assistant Joan Marshall, left, and Tilcon’s Chris Aaron, right, cut the ribbon celebrating completion of the newly paved nature trail.
From left, Joshua Benson; Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD, Matheny president and CEO; and Larry Thornton.