Matheny’s Special Athletes

Matheny athletes took home nine Gold and six Silver medals at the 2015 New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games held at the College of New Jersey. Misty Hockenbury, Lee Lubin and Shaleena Tomassini won two Gold Medals each: Hockenbury and Lubin won their Gold Medals  in the 25-meter motorized wheelchair obstacle race, and 50-meter motorized wheelchair slalom; Tomassini won for the 100-meter wheelchair race and the 200-meter wheelchair race. Other Gold Medal winners were Bari-Kim Goldrosen for power lifting; Jameir Warren-Treadwell for the wheelchair tennis ball throw; and Ellen Kane for the 25-meter motorized wheelchair obstacle race.

Silver medals were won by Yasin Reddick in the 30-meter wheelchair motorized slalom and the 50-meter motorized wheelchair slalom; Amanda Kochell and Jason Weiner for bocce mixed doubles; Warren-Treadwell for the 25-meter wheelchair race; and Kane for the 50-meter motorized wheelchair slalom.  Kochell and Weiner also won a Silver medal bocce unified, in which they teamed up with two Matheny staff members,  recreation therapists Shannon O’Brien and Meghan Walsh.

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Misty Hockenbury, left, and Ellen Kane celebrate their wins in the 50-meter motorized wheelchair slalom.

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The unified bocce team, from left, Shannon O’Brien, Jason Weiner, Meghan Walsh, and Amanda Kochell.



Competition in Special Olympics is part of Matheny’s recreation therapy program, which provides students and patients with a variety of recreational opportunities and resources to improve their physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being.

Picture Perfect

The building of the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry was a top priority for Steve Proctor when he joined Matheny as president in 1998. The Center was completed in 2003 and continues to serve both Matheny’s inpatients and people with disabilities in the community who need medical and dental care by doctors and dentists who understand how to treat and care for them.

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Steve Proctor, speaking to the crowd of well-wishers. From left, Friends of Matheny Nancy Hojnacki, Jean Wadsworth, Edana Desatnick, Karen Thompson.

So, it was fitting that the building should be renamed The Steven M. Proctor Medical Building after Proctor, who retired in December 2014. On June 9, 2015, the Friends of Matheny held a dessert reception there to unveil a portrait of Proctor, created by artist Joseph Sundwall.  Proctor, clearly moved by the event, thanked all the people he had worked with through the years, whose top priority, he emphasized, has  always been the care and well-being of Matheny’s students and patients. He added that the opportunity to be at Matheny was “a gift from God.”  He also expressed appreciation for all the contributions made to Matheny by the Friends of Matheny and paid a special tribute to former chair of the Board of Trustees, Daniel McLaughlin.

Team Goldman Sachs

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After the work was completed, the Goldman Sachs group gathered in the Matheny lobby for a group photo.


The rains came, and so did the Goldman Sachs volunteers.  As part of a global volunteer initiative called Community TeamWorks, several volunteers from Goldman Sachs offices in New Jersey and New York visited Matheny on June 5, completed major renovation projects on Matheny’s grounds and installed lots of new plants and flowers. The weather didn’t exactly cooperate, but, donning ponchos and other rain gear, the GS volunteers completed their outside tasks and still had time to tour Matheny and visit some of the classrooms.

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Goldman Sachs volunteers braved the elements to work in the garden outside the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry.

Under the Community TeamWorks program, some 50 GS offices partner with more than 900 nonprofit community partners worldwide.

Arts Access to Receive Leadership Award


Matheny’s Arts Access Program  will receive a Leadership Award from the Cultural Access Network Project (CAN),  a program of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  The award, “for enabling people with disabilities to express themselves with true creative liberty, and to share their works with the public,” will be presented as part of a day-long CAN Awards event being held June 18 at the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, NJ.

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Arts Access enables theatre artists with disabilities to develop plays, working with professional actors. From left in back, actors Heather Kelley, Samuel Stricklen and Cara Gansk of Premiere Stages; in front, playwright Tatyana Manousakis, Arts Access performing arts coordinator Burt Brooks, and playwright Cheryl Chapin. (photo by Jerry Dalia).

The Arts Access Program uses a unique method to ensure complete creative ability of its artists, most of whom are in wheelchairs and have limited mobility of their arms and legs; many are also non-verbal. Facilitators, who are trained artists, work with the Arts Access artists to execute the artwork they envision, whether it’s painting, choreography, playwriting or other disciplines. Matheny, said Eileen Murray, director of Arts Access, is “thrilled and honored to be receiving the Leadership Award. The fact that a program such as CAN exists here in New Jersey is a sign that the future of arts and disability is a bright one.”

Daily Record Coverage of Miles for Matheny

Miles of volunteers

Jordan, left, and Courtney Smith of Bedminster handed out water bottles at Miles for Matheny 2014.

Jordan, left, and Courtney Smith of Bedminster handed out water bottles at Miles for Matheny 2014.

“Hi. I am interested in volunteering for the upcoming Miles for Matheny event. My family has recently relocated to Gladstone, and we’ve heard that this is a wonderful event and would like to help out in some way. Please let me know if you are in need of volunteers and in what capacity. Thank you.”

That email from new Gladstone, NJ, resident Kristen Huamani, is typical of the community support for the 18th annual Miles for Matheny, the fundraiser and community event being held this Sunday, May 31, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack, NJ. All five members of the Huamani family will be volunteering that day along with more than 400 others who will be doing things like distributing t-shirts, processing registration, handing out water bottles, greeting Matheny students and patients as they arrive in the park, painting faces, walking with wheelchair participants, forming cheering sections along the wheelchair walk route, cleaning up and helping people park their cars at Pfizer.

Groups include the Junior Friends of Matheny (mainly high school students from Bernards and Ridge), members of the Peapack–Gladstone-based Lone Eagle Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, employees of Peapack–Gladstone Bank and several other school and church groups.

A new group, “PG Loves Matheny,” will be participating in the Fitness Walk. Says member Donna Brooten of Gladstone: “There are many Matheny supporters in Peapack–Gladstone, and a one-mile Fitness Walk is the perfect way to show your support. Join the ‘PG Loves Matheny’ team on May 31 at 12:15 at Liberty Park.”

Events at Miles for Matheny include the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, the new Fitness Walk, a Kids Fun Run and five different Cycling rides. A “Breakfast of Champions” will be available, courtesy of The Friends of Matheny. All funds raised will support programs and services that enhance the lives of the children and adults at Matheny and provide services for people with disabilities in the community.

Premier sponsor is The Poses Family Foundation. Other major sponsors include the Golub Family, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Partlow Insurance, Peapack–Gladstone Bank, Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C. Attorneys at Law and WCBS Newsradio 880. For more information, log onto or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260.

Residents of Mendham Road in Gladstone formed their own cheering section last year for participants in the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk.

Residents of Mendham Road in Gladstone formed their own cheering section last year for participants in the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk.

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.

Educating future health care workers

SCVT student Megan Flores drives a power wheelchair, assisted by Sean Bielefeldt, Matheny director of recreation therapy.

The Health Occupations program at the Somerset Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, NJ, offers its students the chance to learn about and experience career opportunities in health care. Students participate in clinical experiences at a variety of health care settings, shadowing health care professionals while they are working.

Recently, a group of nine Somerset Vo-Tech students visited Matheny. Each of the students identified a discipline of interest and spent a morning observing and assisting therapists and pharmacists while they were working with patients. The students also learned how to communicate with nonverbal patients by using various forms of augmentative communications systems. And they got to experience what it’s like to drive a power wheelchair with both a joystick and a head array and complete transfers with a mechanical lift system.

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