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Miles Marches On

On Saturday, April 16, the rains came. On Sunday, April 17, much of Natirar Park in Peapack, NJ, was under water. But, with some last-minute logistical maneuvering, the 14th annual Miles for Matheny withstood the elements and moved forward with the competitive determination so often exhibited by Matheny's patients and students. There were new routes and locations for the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, 5K run and kids fun run, and despite the swampy conditions, approximately 1,900 supporters from the community showed up to walk, run, cycle, volunteer and cheer. Some volunteer walking partners had to lift wheelchairs over rough spots in the terrain; 5K runners were warned about a speed bump that was now part of the course; and makeshift planks were placed over the water so everyone could get to the portable bathrooms.

Funds raised at Miles for Matheny support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to inpatients and people with disabilities in the community. Major sponsors included: The Poses Family Foundation, Peapack-Gladstone Bank (cycling sponsor), Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law (kids fun run), Affinity Federal Credit Union (entertainment), Village Office Supply, Rotary Club of Bernardsville and WCBS-TV/WCBS Newsradio 880. 

Miles for Matheny, according to Steve Proctor, president, is "as much a community event as it is a fundraiser. Our goal has always been to bring together the children and adults with disabilities with their able-bodied counterparts in a wonderful and uplifiting day enveloped by the strong community spirit of our neighbors." That feeling was echoed by some of the participants and volunteers. "What I like best about the event," said Ridge High School student, Sarah Bush, who volunteered, "is the great spirit and that everybody was there to support Matheny." Eric Schapiro, a Basking Ridge resident whose family formed The Schapiro Team to raise funds, added: "We’re participating in Miles for Matheny to show our support for the residents, families, patients and staff of this wonderful facility."