Hometown volunteer

Roseanne Schwab on t-shirt duty at Miles for Matheny.

Rosanne Schwab currently lives in Bridgewater, NJ, but she considers Peapack-Gladstone her hometown. She grew up on Main Street and attended the Peapack-Gladstone Grammar School. “Our Girl Scouts leader arranged a volunteer effort at Matheny,” she recalls, “and, after that experience, I would occasionally walk from my home up the hill to Matheny to volunteer independently.”

She’s still at it. As a marketing/public relations officer for Peapack-Gladstone Bank in Bedminster, NJ, Schwab was part of the team of P-G Bank volunteers who coordinated rest stops for the cyclists during Miles for Matheny. “Traditionally, over the years, Peapack-Gladstone Bank has participated as the Cycling sponsor,” she says. “This year, bank volunteers manned rest stops at the Whitehouse branch and at a cycling route location in Mendham where riders were given the chance to stop and enjoy a snack and beverage, compliments of the bank.”

Schwab accompanies P-G Bank volunteers when they visit Matheny for special activities, and last Christmas she sang as a member of the St. Elizabeth-St. Brigid Church choir at a special mass for Matheny students and patients. One of the students, Katherine Gaudio, asked her if she would come back and visit, and that visit has become a regular weekend activity, during which Schwab does arts and crafts, reads, draws and listens to music with Katherine and other Matheny students. “I have now become a familiar face to other students and Matheny staff members,” she says.

Walter and Mary Gronwald, Schwab’s parents, were longtime Peapack-Gladstone residents, having met after World War II at St. Brigid Church, where Walter Gronwald volunteered for 50 years. As a result, Schwab is familiar with many of the twin boroughs’  elderly residents. “They were friends of my parents, and I attended school with their children,” she says. She remembers when “Blairsden was St. Joseph’s Villa, where the Sisters of St. John the Baptist encouraged families to wander the grounds and the children would play at the reflecting pool. A typical wintertime gym class at Peapack-Gladstone was to cross the street to skate on the pond at Liberty Park.”