Mardi Gras for Matheny

Rick St. Pierre with customer Frances Fago of Raritan, NJ, at last year’s Mardi Gras celebration.

Every year, the Verve Bistro in Somerville, NJ, raises money for Matheny as part of its annual Mardi Gras celebration. This year there will be a twist.

Usually the Verve Mardi Gras festivities begin on the Thursday preceding Fat Tuesday and finish with a mask auction on the evening before Ash Wednesday. This year, however, the Saturday before Fat Tuesday is Valentine’s Day, so Rick St. Pierre, Verve’s owner, has decided to start the Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday and have a special Matheny Mardi Gras party afterward, concluding on Sunday, February 22, with a gumbo cookout.

A portion of the proceeds, including funds raised from the mask auction, will go to Matheny. Many of the masks on display will be made by Matheny students, patients and staff members. Anyone wishing to donate a mask, however, should drop it off by February 14 at Verve, 18 Main St., in Somerville.

Last year, Verve raised $2,219 for Matheny. Since the restaurant’s opening in the late 1990s, St. Pierre has given back to the community. He was named Somerville’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 and was presented with the Somerset County Business Partnership’s Economic Vitality Award in 2008.

To make reservations during the Mardi Gras celebration, February 17–22, call (908) 707-8655 and be sure to mention Matheny.