Making holiday shopping easier

From left, adult services instructor Jodi Miguel, Friend of Matheny Andrea Szott and Matheny resident Aaron Turovlin.

The Friends of Matheny raises money throughout the year to provide Matheny’s students and patients with extras that enhance their quality of life. For example, during the holiday season, The Friends’ Holiday Boutique makes it easier for them to buy presents for family members.

The Boutique, set up in the children’s dining room on December 8, gave Matheny’s students and patients an opportunity to shop for good, inexpensive holiday gifts. It was stocked with items from The Friends’ Second Chance thrift shop, and, for very reasonable prices, the patients and students could purchase gifts and have them wrapped.

Since its inception in 1983, The Friends of Matheny has raised more than $3 million to support Matheny’s programs and services.

From left, Friend of Matheny Helen Fallone, Matheny resident Lauren Nelson, personal care assistant Claudett Brown and adult services instructor Imelda Schroeder.

Once a volunteer…now a shopper

Doris Stout, left, with Second Chance manager Linda Horton.

The Friends of Matheny’s thrift shop, The Second Chance Shop, was open for a one-day preview on Wednesday, August 14, and to say the store was crowded would be an understatement.”It’s like Walmart,” one of the volunteers was overheard commenting.  “There are so many people, we’ll have to call security.”

An unexpected shopper was 93-year-old Doris Stout, a resident of Pottersville, NJ, who was one of the Second Chance Shop’s founding volunteers. “A friend of mine, Betty Martin of Basking Ridge, and I signed up 30 years ago,” she recalled. She gave up her post because, she said, “I can’t stand up for a long time anymore.” But that didn’t stop her from coming back as a customer.

Money raised by the Second Chance Shop is donated to Matheny to be used for equipment, technology and other gifts that directly assist Matheny students and patients. The shop’s new season will resume on Tuesday, September 2.

Sneak peek at Second Chance

Second Chance Shop is ready for business.

“We’re ready to rock!”

With those words, Sandy Harrison of Bedminster, NJ, and Josephine Badger of Gladstone, NJ, put the finishing touches on the merchandise displays in the Second Chance Shop, the thrift shop operated at 4 Church St. in Gladstone by The Friends of Matheny, the auxiliary group that raises funds to benefit Matheny’s students and patients.

On Wednesday, August 13, bargain shoppers will get a preview of the merchandise to be featured this fall during “First Chance at Second Chance,” a one-day reopening of the store from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. According to Linda Horton, the Matheny trustee and Peapack, NJ, resident who manages Second Chance, about 19 volunteers—17 women and two men—worked “to completely fill the shop with fresh merchandise, which is now almost all priced and ready to go.” During Second Chance’s regular selling season, which begins on Tuesday, September 2, about 130 volunteers take turns as salespeople in the shop.

Badger, who retired 12 years ago as the Peapack postmaster, has been volunteering at the shop for about 10 years. “I enjoy seeing people coming in and finding all kinds of treasures,” she said. “And, it’s for a good cause.” Harrison has been volunteering at the shop for about five years. “The best time is Halloween,” she said, “but people also come in looking for items for theme parties. For example, someone was having an Oscar-watching party, and she was looking for all kinds of movie styles.” At the end of the season, everything goes on sale, and Harrison remembers some people who came in “and bought all these clothing items for $1 apiece and sent them to people in need in other countries.”

The Friends of Matheny recently presented Matheny President Steve Proctor with a check for $100,000 from the Second Chance shop’s sales last year. That money will be used in the coming year to acquire equipment, technology and other gifts that directly impact Matheny’s students and patients. Among the items funded this past year by proceeds from Second Chance were “Chill Out Chairs,” used to help with alternate positioning for Matheny students and patients; installation of a video screen/projection system for one of the patient dining rooms; and a wide variety of adaptive devices and equipment.

Josephine Badger, left, and Sandy Harrison.

3 decades of ‘Friendship’

Past presidents, from left, Nancy Kalaher, Karen Thompson, Dorothy Carpenter and Linda Horton, and current president Liz Geraghty.

Dorothy Carpenter remembers when she was a “newcomer” in Bernardsville, NJ, 30 years ago. “We ran an auction to raise money for the Matheny School,” she recalls, “and it went extremely well. So we asked Matheny, ‘Would you like to have a friends group?’” That was the genesis of The Friends of Matheny, an auxiliary organization that has raised more than $3 million for the students and patients at Matheny since its founding in 1983.

Carpenter now lives in Westport, CT, but she returned to New Jersey on June 11 to help The Friends of Matheny celebrate its 30th anniversary at its annual meeting, held at the Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham, NJ. Speaking to the group, Carpenter said: “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Matheny. I’m just so proud of what you all have done.”

Matheny President Steve Proctor thanked The Friends for everything the organization has given to Matheny, and The Friends presented Proctor with a check for $100,000, which will be used in the coming year to acquire equipment, technology and other gifts that directly benefit the students and patients. Liz Geraghty, Friends president, also revealed that a major project in the coming year will be the construction of a garden in front of the main entrance where families can gather and relax when the weather is warm.

The Friends also elected its slate of officers for the coming year:  Liz Geraghty, president; Kathy Sisto, vice president, allocations; Helen Fallone, recording secretary; and Karen Thompson, treasurer.

Linda Horton, left, manager of The Friends’ Second Chance Shop, and Liz Geraghty present Steve Proctor with a symbolic check for $100,000.

Three decades of support

Matheny School teachers Tina Carey, left, and Karen Deland, right, presented The Friends of Matheny president Liz Geraghty with a poster expressing the school’s appreciation for everything the group has done.

The Friends of Matheny is an organization of volunteers dedicated to providing support for Matheny’s students and patients. Since its beginnings in 1983, The Friends has raised more than $3 million to help sustain Matheny’s programs and services. At a recent informal reception in the Matheny staff dining room, to mark The Friends’ 30th anniversary, Matheny employees thanked several members of The Friends for everything the group has done.

The Friends’ gifts through the years have ranged from the purchase of adaptive and therapeutic equipment and technology for The Matheny’s School’s classrooms to the renovation of our main lobby and the furnishing of a special family dining room.

Some of The Friends who attended the ‘thank you’ reception: Standing, from left, Karen Thompson, Edana Desatnick, Linda Horton, Kathy Sisto, Dorothy Carter, Colleen Blaxill, Nancy Hojnacki, Helen Fallone and Jean Wadsworth; seated, Liz Geraghty, left, and Gail Cunningham, Matheny coordinator of volunteer activities.

On pace for a record

From left, customer Ana Norton and volunteers Nina Pellegrino and Theresa Radebaugh.

The Friends of Matheny’s Second Chance thrift shop passed the $100,000 sales mark on Thursday, April 3, the earliest date in the season that this point has ever been reached. The sale that put Second Chance over $100,000 was made a little after 10 a.m. to Ana Norton of Chester, NJ. The two Second Chance volunteers who made the sale were Theresa Radebaugh, also of Chester, and Nina Pellegrino of Bridgewater, NJ. All three received gift certificates for being the lucky buyers and sellers.

Since its inception in 1983, The Friends of Matheny has raised more than $3 million to benefit the students and patients at Matheny. The Second Chance selling season doesn’t end until after Memorial Day, so the shop could be on pace for a record-setting season.

Business has a bright future

Claire Scott and the display of DVDs she helped collect for the Second Chance Shop.

Claire Scott, a junior at West Morris Mendham High School in Mendham, NJ, who wants to major in business when she goes to college, has already shown that she has a flair for capitalism. Scott, who is active in her high school’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) chapter, spearheaded a drive to collect DVDs that could then be sold at the Second Chance Shop, a thrift shop in Gladstone, NJ, run by The Friends of Matheny to raise funds for the students and patients at Matheny.

Scott first heard about Matheny from a fellow Mendham resident, Kathleen Mangliado, who teaches in the Randolph Township Schools. Her DVD project was coordinated through Brenda DeRogatis, the teacher at West Morris Mendham responsible for FBLA.

Since September, Scott has volunteered on Saturdays at the Second Chance Shop and will take a break at the end of February so that she can run track. She has enjoyed working at the shop and particularly likes it when some of the DVDs that she helped collect are sold. Although she has never been to Matheny, Scott hopes to bring members of the girls’ track team to visit this spring.

The Friends of Matheny has raised more than $3 million for the students and patients at Matheny since the auxiliary group’s formation in 1983. The Second Chance Shop is located adjacent to the Gladstone United Methodist Church on Jackson Avenue in Gladstone. The shop is open Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday thru Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m; and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Donations of items in good condition are accepted on Mondays only.


Special Friends

Some of The Friends of Matheny officers for 2013-2014 gathered outside the Roxiticus Golf Club after their luncheon. From left, Lisa Novella, a resident of Peapack, corresponding secretary; Nancy Hojnacki, Bernardsville, vp membership; Liz Geraghty, Cranford, president; Karen Thompson, Gladstone, vp membership; and Jean Wadsworth, Basking Ridge, recording secretary.

The Friends of Matheny held its annual end-of-the season luncheon on June 5 at the Roxiticus Golf Club in Mendham, NJ, and Friends president Liz Geraghty handed Matheny president Steve Proctor a check for $60,000.

The Friends is an organization dedicated to providing support to Matheny, and, since its inception in 1983, the group has raised more than $3 million. Proctor thanked members for all they do, singling out such gifts as an adaptive bathtub and a new “Van Go” vehicle, which will help bring Matheny’s unique Arts Access Program to other facilities for people with disabilities.

Gary Eddey, MD, Matheny vice president and chief medical officer, spoke to The Friends about Matheny’s medical mission. “We care for children and adults with multiple chronic illnesses,” he said. “In our system of care, everybody works together, 24-7, 365 days a year, so that our children and adults can live a full rich life to the best of their abilities.”

Giving back

From left, Doris Engel of Chester; Linda Horton; and Chris Johnson of Bedminster.

Every year, Peapack, NJ, resident Linda Horton hosts an informal event to thank all the volunteers who donate their time to help out at the Second Chance Shop, The Friends of Matheny’s thrift shop in Gladstone, NJ, that raises money to support the students and patients at Matheny. This year’s “thank you” was an afternoon tea held on Sunday, April 7, in Matheny’s Robert Schonhorn Arts Center.

Each of the volunteers was asked to wear at least one item purchased at the shop, then modeling for all of their colleagues. Steve Proctor, president of Matheny, was also at the event, wearing a tie he had bought at the Second Chance Shop. He took the opportunity to thank the volunteers for the funds they raise, which “improve the lives of our children and adults,” adding that, “I can’t think of two finer individuals than Linda Horton and her husband, Bill.” Linda Horton is a member of Matheny’s Board Trustees; Bill Horton is mayor of Peapack-Gladstone.

Teresa Radebaugh of Chester.



Holiday friendship

Friends of Matheny volunteers at the Holiday Boutique. Vena Glenn, Jean Wadsworth, Janet Allocco, Helen Fallone, Dorothy Carter, Angie Erickson, Cathy Wild, Lisa Lee and Edana Desatnick.

If you walk through the halls of Matheny during the holiday season, you will see the door of each bedroom decorated with wreaths placed there by The Friends of Matheny, our auxiliary group that does so much to help us improve the lives of our students and patients.

And, in addition to all the gifts The Friends gives to Matheny, its members also make sure Matheny’s students and patients can find good, inexpensive holiday gifts to give to their family members. Every year, The Friends set up a Holiday Boutique, stocked with items from their Second Chance thrift shop. For very reasonable prices, Matheny students and patients can purchase gifts and have them wrapped. This year’s Holiday Boutique was held on December 10, and, as usual, it was a huge success.

The Friends of Matheny is an organization dedicated to providing support to Matheny. Since its inception in 1983, the group has raised more than $3 million to sustain Matheny’s programs and services.

Adult patient Dion Alston was assisted with his shopping by Alicia Zurlo, left, and Debra Ross.


‘Welcome to Back-to-School Night’

Matthew Detgen, greeting his parents, Marie and Don Detgen, at Back-to-School Night.

Many of Matheny’s students and patients are non-verbal. To help them communicate, teachers and therapists provide them with state-of-the-art assistive technology, including a variety of augmentative and alternative communications systems. Thanks to a recent donation by The Friends of Matheny, the Matheny School has a brand new supply of augmentative communication switches, which can be used by students to express themselves.

One of the recent beneficiaries of this gift was Matthew Detgen, a non-verbal student who was able to work as a greeter at the Matheny School’s Back-to-School Night. Stationed in the main lobby, Detgen activated switches that said: “Welcome to Back-to-School Night” and “I’m Glad You Could Make It.”

As part of a collaborative team, speech-language pathologists and teachers work together to complete assessments of speech and language and develop and implement programs to meet each student’s individual needs.

Oktoberfest benefits Matheny

Fred and Isabelle Frisco of Hillsborough with Matheny student Shane Szott.

“My daughter doesn’t walk, and she doesn’t talk. But during her first year at Matheny, the recreation department told me they wanted to take her camping. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!’ They always think outside the box.”

Liz Geraghty, president of The Friends of Matheny, was describing her daughter Bozena’s experience at Matheny to a crowd of more than 100 people attending Oktoberfest, a casual evening of celebration by The Friends to benefit Matheny students and patients. The Friends of Matheny is an auxiliary group that has raised more than $3 million for Matheny since 1983.

Guests at the event, held at Vliettown Farm in Oldwick, NJ, enjoyed German food and music and made extra contributions to Matheny by buying raffle tickets, bidding in the silent auction and purchasing special Community Connections packages that help fund activities for Matheny’s students and patients in the community such as the camping, which Geraghty mentioned, attending concerts and plays, and dining out at area restaurants.

From left, Donna and NJ Devil Hall of Famer Scott Stevens of Bedminster; and Tom and Maria Carwithen of Madison.


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