Summer buddies

Long Valley Middle School students, from left, Zach Miller, Matt Blount and Mark Boiko visit with Matheny student Jamil Jones.

“This has been really fun!” That’s how one student from Long Valley Middle School described his weekly visits to Matheny this summer. About 14 LVMS students have been coming to Matheny once a week since July in an initiative started by Marie Peppas, a member of St. Luke’s Parish, where all the boys in the group belong and have been life-long friends.

The group helped out at Matheny’s swimming pool and with classroom activities, and they even did some weeding on the grounds. Most importantly, the students struck up friendships with some of Matheny’s students and patients. They plan to continue their Matheny visits after school starts, but will probably reduce their frequency to monthly.

Volunteers from the community are needed at Matheny during weekdays, evenings and weekends. Individuals can serve as recreation assistants, classroom aides, tutors or just friendly visitors.  For more information, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 282, or email