“When you meet someone with a severe disability,” says Justin Lash, “it’s hard to imagine what their quality of life would be. But Matheny has given my brother Andy an exceptional quality of life for more than 35 years, for which we are forever thankful.”
That’s why Lash and his family continue to vigorously support Miles for Matheny, Matheny’s annual fundraiser and community event, which is being held this year on Sunday, April 21, at Liberty Park in Peapack, NJ. The Lash family – parents Fred and Suzanne Lash of Denville, NJ; Justin, his wife Melissa and son Jack of Randolph, NJ; and sister Morgan of Oak Ridge, NJ – have once again formed a team, “Andy ‘Flash’ Lash,” to raise funds. This year’s fundraising goal is $2,500, but Justin is pretty sure he’ll have to adjust it upward because, as of March 12, the team had already raised $1,325 from 10 donors.
Andy Lash, now 41, became a Matheny resident in 1977 at the age of six. For the past 11+ years he has resided at Matheny’s community residence in Franklin Township, NJ. He’s an avid New York Yankees fan and when he lived at Matheny, Justin recalls, “We always joked that he was the mayor because he would be soloing through the halls, and everybody knew him and liked him.” What continues to amaze Justin Lash is “the creativity at Matheny that enables people like Andy to have as normal a life as possible. It became clear as Andy got older that he was so comfortable in his own environment at Matheny.”
Andy Lash will be one of more than 100 adults and children in wheelchairs, with walking partners, who will travel 1.5 miles around downtown Peapack as part of the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk at Miles for Matheny. In addition, there will be a 5K Road Race, five Cycling routes, a Kids Fun Run and The Friends of Matheny’s “Breakfast of Champions,” followed by luncheon refreshments in the park.
All funds raised at Miles for Matheny will help support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to Matheny inpatients and people with disabilities in communities throughout New Jersey. Major sponsors are: the Poses Family Foundation, title sponsor; Partlow Insurance Agency; Peapack-Gladstone Bank; Porzio Bromberg & Newman, P.C.; Affinity Federal Credit Union; and WCBS-TV and WCBS Newsradio 880.
To find out how you can be part of this fun-filled and uplifting event, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260. To support Andy “Flash” Lash, click on Search for Participant and type in Andy “Flash” Lash.