Congratulations, Michael!

Arts Access artist Michael Martin was awarded a 2016 Kids for Kids Fine Arts Scholarship by Chatham, NJ-based Dance Innovations. The scholarship, presented on May 25, is given to individuals with special needs to help them pursue their interest in the arts.

Michael is one of the most prolific visual artists in the Arts Access Program, a unique fine arts program that enables individuals with disabilities to fully express themselves in the creative arts. Dance Innovations is a studio for dance and the performing arts. Its dance students often perform for the students and patients at Matheny.

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Michael Martin and Arts Access dance facilitator Heather Williams at the awards ceremony.

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Michael Martin with his parents, Alan and Linda Martin.

Generous Friends

“I can’t thank The Friends enough for their generosity and hard work.” Those were the words of Matheny president and CEO, Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD, after Linda Horton, manager of The Friends of Matheny’s Second Chance thrift shop, and Liz Geraghty, president of The Friends, presented him with a symbolic $150,000 check, representing funds donated this year by The Friends to support programs and services that benefit the students and patients at Matheny.

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From left, Linda Horton, Liz Geraghty, Kendell R. Sprott, MD, JD

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The Friends of Matheny officers and board members for 2016-17. From left: Andrea Szott, Dorothy Carter, Nancy Hojnacki, Kathy Sisto (incoming president), Linda Horton, Liz Geraghty, Doris Burman, Edana Desatnick, Kim Caniano, and Jean Wadsworth.

As Horton explained, “The staff members at Matheny produce a wish list of things not covered by Medicaid or insurance. We look at the wish list and decide. We choose how the money is used.” One way the money from last year will be used is to fund a trip to Disney World for four Matheny residents. Sean Bielefeldt, director of recreation therapy, thanked The Friends, “for making this happen. We’re taking four patients to the happiest place on earth for six days and five nights. It wouldn’t be possible without your support.”

After serving as Friends president for four years, Geraghty will be succeeded by Kathy Sisto. Dr. Sprott thanked Geraghty for her leadership. “She has been a very important, steady leader,” he said. He also thanked Horton for continuing to be “the CEO of the thrift shop.” Since their beginnings in 1983, The Friends have raised more than $3 million.

Matheny Memories

With the help of volunteers from the Home Depot stores in Bridgewater, NJ, Girl Scouts from Troop 60077 in Bedminster, NJ, helped beautify the memorial garden dedicated to Walter and Marguerite Matheny, founders of The Matheny School. The Mathenys created the school in 1946 to educate and care for children, such as their son, Chuck, who has cerebral palsy.

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Clockwise, from left: Girl Scouts Emily Caspersen, Mira Patla, Sheila DeLorean, and Katherine Gaudio (also a Matheny resident); and Chuck Matheny.

The dedication ceremony, held on May 24, began with recitations of the Girl Scout Promise and Girl Scout Law by members of Troop 60077. Dr. Norma Fair-Brown, Matheny chaplain, blessed the garden, and Chuck Matheny thanked everyone for “a beautiful job.” The festivities concluded with the singing of the Matheny alma mater, led by members of the music therapy department.

Miles for Matheny

Church Cheerleaders

Ed Iannone and Nancy Soto, residents at Matheny’s group home in Basking Ridge, NJ, are regular churchgoers at the Somerset Hills Lutheran Church, also in Basking Ridge. Eric Reiss, a member of the congregation, recalls one Sunday when, “Ed asked me if I knew about Miles for Matheny. He was hoping that the church could gather people to participate. My daughter, Erica, has volunteered on projects at Matheny through the Junior Friends of Matheny chapter at Ridge High School, and she had participated in Miles for Matheny last year. So, she volunteered to coordinate efforts within the congregation and to learn more about how the church could get involved.”

Erica learned quickly. She formed a fundraising team, SHLC Cheer, which, as of May 19, had raised $1,037. Volunteers from SHLC will also create a cheering section during the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk at Miles and will help with the clean up after the event. And, Erica is hopeful of recruiting cheering volunteers from Ridge High as well. “There’s going to be a sign up in the school,” she said, “and I’m going to tell people to join the cheering section. There should be a lot of us from Ridge.”

When Iannone and Soto expressed an interest in joining the SHLC congregation, Pastor Daniel Fenco had two pews taken out to make room for their wheelchairs and caregivers. “Members of the congregation reached out to Ed and Nancy to help them feel welcome,” said Eric Reiss, “and one teenage boy, Kristian Springsteel, became an ambassador for the congregation. It was his project to make sure they felt at home and to assist them in moving around the sanctuary.

In addition to the Wheelchair Walk, Miles for Matheny activities on Sunday, June 5, in Peapack’s Liberty Park, include: five different Cycling Rides, a one-mile Fitness Walk, and a Kids Fun Run. There is also a Breakfast of Champions, provided by The Friends of Matheny, and lots of family-oriented activities and attractions including a bounce house, fire truck tours, and free ice cream and cotton candy. All funds raised at Miles for Matheny will support programs and services that enhance the lives of the students and patients at Matheny, children, teens, and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. Major sponsors are: the Poses Family Foundation, premier sponsor; the Golub Family, Mariner Wealth Advisors; Partlow Insurance; Peapack-Gladstone Bank; Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law; and WCBS Newsradio 880.

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From left, Ed Iannone, Erica Reiss, Eric Reiss, and Nancy Soto

For more information, to register, or to form a fundraising team, log onto milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260. To support SHLC Cheer, click on Search For Participant, type in the team name, and then click Support Me!

PG Loves Matheny!

Donna Brooten and Judy Silacci, residents of Peapack-Gladstone, have once again formed a Miles for Matheny fundraising page, “PG Loves Matheny”. Their message is simple: “Please join our fellow Peapack-Gladstone neighbors for the ‘PG Loves Matheny’ Fitness Walk. Many will be walking, but we’d love to see a special showing of our townspeople.  Please donate to PG Loves Matheny and try and walk with us, too.”

In addition to the Fitness Walk, Miles for Matheny activities, on Sunday, June 5, in Peapack’s Liberty Park, include: the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, five different Cycling Rides, and a Kids Fun Run. There is also a Breakfast of Champions, provided by The Friends of Matheny and lots of family-oriented activities and attractions, including a bounce house, fire truck tours, and free ice cream and cotton candy. All funds raised at Miles for Matheny will support programs and services that enhance the lives of the students and patients at Matheny, children, teens, and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. Major sponsors are: the Poses Family Foundation, premier sponsor; the Golub Family; Mariner Wealth Advisors; Partlow Insurance; Peapack-Gladstone Bank; Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law; and WCBS Newsradio 880.

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Fitness Walkers at Miles for Matheny 2015. Sign holders are Debbie Infusino, left, and Judy Silacci.

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Donna Brooten

For more information, to register, or to form a fundraising team, log onto milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260. To support PG Loves Matheny, click on Search For Participant , type in the team name, and then click Support Me!

Help in the Kitchen

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Novartis volunteer Glory Dunleavy helps Matheny adult resident Raven Bennett make pizza.

Cooking classes are an important part of  Matheny’s adult education program, which is designed to instill a sense of self-respect and self-expression among our adult residents, helping them attain the highest possible level of independent functioning.

On April 28, Matheny welcomed volunteers from Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation as part of the company’s annual Community Partnership Day, and the volunteers assisted adult residents in Matheny’s adaptive kitchen. Community Partnership Day, according to Amy Fry, vice president, communications & patient relations at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, “has been a traditional day of volunteer service at Novartis for 20 years, bringing together associates around the world and across functions to support our nonprofit partners and the important work they do. It’s a fun and rewarding day to volunteer together and support our mission of discovering new ways to extend and improve people’s lives.”

Cycling Sponsor

For the 14th consecutive year, Bedminster, NJ-based Peapack-Gladstone Bank will be the Cycling Sponsor for Miles for Matheny. As a corporate sponsor, the bank provides rest stops and complimentary snacks to participating riders at several of its branches, which are also staffed with bank volunteers. “Peapack-Gladstone Bank,” says Rosanne Schwab, assistant vice president, public relations manager, “values Matheny as an important part of our community.  We are proud to be a dedicated sponsor of Miles for Matheny and Matheny’s patients through volunteer efforts of our employees.  As a contributor to this event, our mission is to support the enhancement of the many valuable programs Matheny provides.  Throughout the years, Peapack-Gladstone Bank has been committed to enhancing the health and wellness of individuals in our communities.”

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Peapack-Gladstone Bank’s Whitehouse branch rest stop at a previous Miles for Matheny.

The five Cycling routes at Miles for Matheny, being held on Sunday, June 5, were designed by the Bedminster Flyers Cycling Club and offer every level of Cyclist a rewarding challenge. From the “Ride It If You Can” Hills of Attrition course, with its steep climbing hills, to the family-friendly 10-mile ride, there is a course that’s perfect for everyone. All Cycling routes begin at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack.  On-site registration opens at 8:00 a.m.  Hills of Attrition and 50-mile rides start at 8:30 a.m.; 35 and 25-mile rides start at 9 a.m.; and the 10-mile ride takes off at 10 a.m.

In addition to the Cycling rides, activities at Miles for Matheny include the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, a Kids Fun Run, and a one-mile Fitness Walk. There will also be lots of family-oriented activities and attractions including a bounce house, fire truck tours and free ice cream and cotton candy.

All funds raised will support programs and services that enhance the lives of the students and patients at Matheny. Other major sponsors are: the Poses Family Foundation, premier sponsor; the Golub Family; Mariner Wealth Advisors; Partlow Insurance; Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law; and WCBS Newsradio 880.  For more information, to register, or to form a fundraising team, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, Ext. 260.

Local Art

“Everybody who comes up here comments on the artwork.” Tim Peters, president of Peapack, NJ-based MedActionPlan.com LLC, has several pieces of art by artists in Matheny’s Arts Access Program hanging on the walls of his offices, which are located on Main Street, opposite Highland Avenue, the road that leads up to Matheny.

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From left, Shane Smith, holding “Spiderweb”, Tim Peters, Jess Evans, Michelle Hoffman, Donna Frank, Kathy Fennessy, Dion Alston, and Lee Peters, holding Alston’s untitled work. Behind them is a painting by Arts Access artist Mark Cornely.

On Friday, April 29, two of the artists whose work is on display visited Peters and met the rest of his office staff. Dion Alston has an untitled painting in Peters’ offices, and Jess Evans’ painting is entitled “Spiderweb”.  Arts Access is a unique fine arts program where individuals with disabilities can fully express themselves in the creative arts.

The Extra Mile

The Fitness Walk is back! Last year, Miles for Matheny introduced its new Fitness Walk, a one-mile walk preceding the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk. You can walk at your own pace, or power walk, and  when the mile is finished, you have the option of going the extra mile by joining the Wheelchair Walk.  The Fitness Walk  begins at 11:45 a.m., and the Wheelchair Walk begins at 12:15, so you’ll have plenty of time to do both.

The 19th annual Miles for Matheny is being held on Sunday, June 5, in Peapack’s Liberty Park. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m., and activities, in addition to the Fitness Walk and Wheelchair Walk, include five different Cycling rides through the scenic Somerset Hills and a Kids Fun Run. And, everything is preceded by The Friends of Matheny’s Breakfast of Champions.

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Peapack resident Donna Brooten in the Fitness Walk at last year’s Miles.

All funds raised at Miles for Matheny will support the programs and services that enhance the lives of the children, teens, and adults served by Matheny. Premier sponsor is the Poses Family Foundation. Major sponsors are:  the Golub Family, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Partlow Insurance, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law, and WCBS Newsradio 880. To register or form a fundraising team, log onto milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260.

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