Brightening up the workplace

Jess Evans with Tim Peters and her painting, “Spiderweb.”

Several years ago, Tim Peters, president of Peapack, NJ-based Tim Peters and Company and MedActionPlan.com LLC, purchased a painting by one of Matheny’s Arts Access artists at a silent auction. “Everyone who comes into the office loves the picture and comments on it,” he says. “We love how it looks in our office. It brightens up our day.”

More recently, Peters was reading the Winter 2015 issue of Matheny Matters, Matheny’s newsletter, when he spotted an article about a visit to the Visiting Nurse Association of the Somerset Hills in Basking Ridge, NJ, by two Arts Access artists. At the bottom of the page were images of two Arts Access paintings, “Spiderweb” by Jess Evans and an untitled piece by T.J. Christian. Peters contacted Arts Access and purchased both. Then, when he came to pick up the paintings, he met with both artists, who told Peters they would like to visit his office so they can see their paintings hanging. Plans are already in the works for these visits.

Arts Access enables artists with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Tim Peters and Company creates innovative print and software-based programs for the healthcare community. The firm has been on Peapack’s Main Street for more than 30 years.

Tim Peters with TJ Christian and his untitled painting.

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‘Teachers Who Rock’

Dawn Williams, right, celebrates with her mother, Debbie.

Matheny School teacher Dawn Williams was one of 22 New Jersey teachers honored at Greater Media New Jersey radio stations’ “Teachers Who Rock” awards dinner, held March 31 at Casa Bianca in Oak Ridge, NJ. The teachers were greeted by Dan Finn, Greater Media New Jersey senior vice president and regional general manager. Then the awards were presented by personalities from rock radio station WDHA 105.5 FM and classic oldies WMTR 1250 AM.

Williams is the preschool teacher at Matheny. She believes the best teachers “are those who inspire us, who believe in us until we believe in ourselves, who push us, open up our minds, show us different worlds, help us understand, help us break barriers and truly bring out the best in us.”

Dawn receiving her award from WDHA morning show co-host Jim Monahan.

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Training future healthcare professionals

Rutgers student Matthew Santoro familiarizes himself with a power wheelchair.

As physical therapy students from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School rotated through stations, experiencing everything from wheelchair maneuverability to adapted physical education, they absorbed a sense of appreciation for the challenges facing people with developmental disabilities. The occasion was the students’ annual visit to Matheny to learn about the therapies and equipment that help enhance the lives of those with physical disabilities.

Matthew Santoro of Hazlet Township, marveled at the technology that gives people with disabilities “some level of independence.” And Danielle Shellhammer of Ringwood felt the visit was “a good experience, to see all that’s available.”

Matheny understands that it can’t provide healthcare for everyone with a disability, but it can help ensure that future healthcare professionals understand how to care for and treat people with developmental disabilities.

Christianna Rocco, left, and Danielle Shellhammer learn how to use their heads while playing adapted basketball.

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Young runners

Participants in last year’s Kids Fun Run.

The Kids Fun Run at Miles for Matheny is designed for the youngest racing enthusiasts. The event consists of four sprints for children, ages 3 to 10, divided by age category. Everyone is a winner, though, as all Fun Run participants receive a medal, thanks to our Kids Fun Run sponsor, Porzio Bromberg & Newman, P.C., Attorneys at Law.

The 18th annual Miles for Matheny will be held on Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. In addition to the Kids Fun Run, Miles for Matheny participants can be part of the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, five different Cycling routes and our new Fitness Walk. A “Breakfast of Champions” will be provided by The Friends of Matheny.

All funds raised at Miles for Matheny will support the programs and services that enhance the lives of Matheny’s students and patients, children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities. Premier Miles sponsor is The Poses Family Foundation. Other major sponsors are: The Golub Family, Mariner Wealth Advisors – Madison, Partlow Insurance Agency,  Peapack-Gladstone Bank, and WCBS Newsradio 880. For more information or to register, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call 908.234.0011, ext. 260.

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Support for Full Circle

Performance at Full Circle 2013.

Matheny’s Arts Access Program has received a $10,000 grant for Arts Engagement in American Communities from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The grant will support Full Circle, the Arts Access Program’s annual celebration, which will be held this year on Saturday, November 7.

Arts Access empowers individuals with disabilities to create art without boundaries. Through the use of innovative systems and techniques, they can participate in the visual, performing and literary arts. Regardless of their disability, the artists are provided with the tools and materials needed to produce complete pieces of work. Full Circle includes an exhibition displaying original artwork created by artists with disabilities, and guest artists help them create a culminating multimedia performance piece.

Eileen Murray, director of the Arts Access Program, said she is “deeply grateful to the National Endowment for the Arts for its generosity to the Matheny Arts Access Program and our talented artists with disabilities. With the NEA’s support of Full Circle, our annual arts event, Arts Access will present the artists’ work to the community, honoring and celebrating each individual’s creative accomplishments. This generous grant from NEA will further enable us to open doors for the artists and open the minds of the public.”

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Cycle through the countryside

Cyclists at last year’s Miles for Matheny.

Cycle through the beautiful Somerset Hills of New Jersey to support all the programs and services that enhance the lives of children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.

The 18th annual Miles for Matheny will be held on Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. Cyclists will have their choice of 10-, 25-, 35- , and 50-mile bike routes, plus a challenging “Hills of Attrition” route. All five routes were designed by members of the Bedminster Flyers, a recreational cycling club located in the Somerset Hills area. Members of the club ride on Wednesday evenings from April through September. The cycling sponsor once again is Peapack-Gladstone Bank.

In addition to the cycling routes, Miles for Matheny participants can be part of the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, the Kids Fun Run and the new Fitness Walk. For more information, log onto milesformatheny.org or call 908.234.0011, ext. 260.

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Registration is open!

Richard Kelly and friends during last year’s Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk.

Online registration is now open for the 18th annual Miles for Matheny, our fundraiser and community event being held Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack, NJ. Log onto  www.milesformatheny.org  to register for one or more events and to create your own fundraising team.

All proceeds from 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. Activities at Miles include:

• Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk – join with Matheny patients and students as they wheel one mile through downtown Peapack.
• Fitness Walk – one-mile power walk for all ages immediately preceding the Wheelchair Walk, with all walkers invited to go the extra mile by joining the Wheelchair Walk participants for a second mile around town.
• Cycling – choose from five different cycling routes through Somerset Hills country roads.
• Kids Fun Run – four different races for children, ages 3-10.
• Live music, family entertainment and refreshments throughout the day.

Everyone’s a winner in the Kids Fun Run.

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Pizza with a purpose

Emily and Ellen Mahoney of Basking Ridge, NJ, with their takeout pizza. Ellen is a member of the Junior Friends of Matheny.

On Thursday, March 19, members of the Junior Friends of Matheny, the youth extension of Matheny’s auxiliary group, patrolled the California Pizza Kitchen restaurant in the Bridgewater Commons Mall in Bridgewater, NJ, handing out flyers for customers to present to their server before ordering. The reason? For every order placed with a flyer, 20% of the check would be given to Matheny. The event raised $348.94 for Matheny.

The Friends of Matheny was organized in 1983 by a small group of volunteers and has raised more than $3 million since then, providing funds for recreational and therapeutic activities as well improvements and enhancements to Matheny’s physical facility. The Junior Friends consists mainly of high school students at both Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ, and Bernards High in Bernardsville, NJ.  However, some students who graduated, went off to college and returned to the area have remained active in the organization.

In addition to raising funds, the Junior Friends participate in Matheny events such as the annual prom and provide special programs for Matheny students and patients during holidays such as Christmas, Halloween and Valentine’s Day.

Clockwise, from left: Sharon, Aidan and Georgia Tompkins and Sarah Desatnick, all of Basking Ridge, NJ. Georgia and Sarah are members of the Junior Friends of Matheny.

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Mask money

From left, Arts Access visual arts coordinator Andrew Edge, Adults Services instructor and director of the ceramics program Jodi Miguel and Verve owner Rick St. Pierre.

Despite some nasty weather in February, the Verve Bistro’s Mardi Gras celebration for Matheny raised $2,000, which owner Rick St. Pierre asked be divided between Matheny’s Arts Access Program and the Adult Services Ceramics Program.

The funds were raised from a mask auction and a portion of the proceeds at the restaurant from Fat Tuesday, February 17 through Sunday, February 22. Many Matheny staff members and adult patients made Mardi Gras masks, which were auctioned off on the 22nd.

Arts Access enables individuals with disabilities to freely express themselves through visual, literary and performing arts. The Adult Services Ceramics activity teaches adult residents and day health services patients the fundamentals of working in clay, incorporating the elements of design and principles of art.

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The extra mile

The Fitness Walk is one mile but can be doubled to two miles if you continue on in the Wheelchair Walk.

This year’s Miles for Matheny will feature a new Fitness Walk, a one-mile walk held just before the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk. You can walk at your own pace, or power walk, and when the first mile is finished, you have the option of going the extra mile by joining in with the Wheelchair Walk.

The 18th annual Miles for Matheny will be held on Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. In addition to the Fitness Walk and Wheelchair Walk, there are five Cycling routes and a Kids Fun Run, all preceded by The Friends of Matheny’s “Breakfast of Champions.” All 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, or to register, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260.

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