Quite a fright

Matheny student Shane Szott as the cowardly lion.

The weather was a little chilly, but that didn’t diminish the spirits of those participating in the Halloween parade at Matheny. Halloween is a day highly anticipated by Matheny students and patients. And it’s also a day when many family members visit and dress up themselves or just push their sons, daughters or siblings in the parade.

In the morning, everyone was invited to visit the Haunted House, designed and built by therapists and members of the Matheny School faculty. The day’s activities were all coordinated by our recreation therapy department, which did a scarily super job.

Throughout the year, this department provides a variety of recreation opportunities and resources to improve students’ and patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being.

Chuck Matheny, half devil, half angel, with personal care assistant Elfinesh Wondafrosh.

Creepy creativity

Adult resident Rasheedah Mahali and her mother Geri Brewer at last year’s Halloween parade.

Halloween is a big day at Matheny. It begins in the morning with a haunted house, designed and built by members of Matheny’s therapy staffs, helped out by Matheny School faculty members and instructors in our Adult Services Department. This year, additional assistance will be provided by members of the Junior Friends of Matheny, who are students at Bernards High School in Bernardsville, NJ, and Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ.

In the afternoon, Matheny students and patients take part in the annual Halloween parade. The costumes every year are amazing, thanks to the creativity of all Matheny staff members. The holiday also provides a great opportunity for visits by family members, many of whom are also in costume. After the parade, costume winners are announced and refreshments are provided by The Friends of Matheny.

The Halloween festivities are coordinated by Matheny’s Recreation Therapy Department, which provides a variety of recreation opportunities and resources throughout the year to improve students’ and patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being. Members of the community are welcome to join us.

Friends of Matheny president Liz Geraghty serving up refreshments.

Scary stuff

Viva Brancifort of Chester, N.J., with her daughter Gabriella and Matheny School principal Sean Murphy.

Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays at Matheny and presents an opportunity for families of our students and patients to participate in the festivities.

The day starts off with a haunted house, designed by our therapy and school staff members, and concludes with a Halloween parade and party with refreshments supplied by The Friends of Matheny.

The day’s activities are coordinated by Matheny’s recreation therapy department, which provides a variety of recreation opportunities and resources throughout the year to improve students’ and patients’ physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being.


Jim and Ruby Yedloutschnig of Cedar Grove, N.J., with their daughter Alicia.


Halloween comes early

Sanofi volunteer Antoine Labrousse paints a pumpkin with adult resident Dion Alston.

Halloween arrived a little early at Matheny. On Friday, October 11, a dozen volunteers from Sanofi U.S. visited adult patients to help paint pumpkins and make other Halloween decorations in preparation for the annual holiday.

Sanofi is a diversified global healthcare company whose U.S. headquarters are in Bridgewater, NJ. Volunteerism, according to the company website, is “one of our cornerstones for social responsibility. It is the way that our employees show solidarity with others in need.”

Matheny’s adult services program, both at our main Peapack campus and at our Hillsborough Adult Learning Center, provides a specialized integrated day program for persons 21 years and older who have medically complex developmental disabilities. We welcome volunteers from the community—both individuals and corporate groups such as those from Sanofi. For more information about volunteer opportunities at Matheny, call (908) 234-0011, ext. 282, or email volunteers@matheny.org.

Sanofi volunteer Yen Yu Chen personalizes a pumpkin for adult resident Mason Walsh.


It was a treat!

Halloween was more than just candy and costumes for students and patients at Matheny. Holidays such as Halloween provide students and patients with recreational opportunities that improve their physical, emotional, cognitive and social well-being.  And they have a great time!

On Friday, October 28, they braved a haunted house created and inhabited by members of the recreation therapy department and marched, in costume, in a special Halloween parade.

Volunteers from the community and family members joined in the festivities, and members of The Friends of Matheny, an auxiliary group that raises funds for Matheny, served refreshments afterwards. It was indeed a Happy Halloween!

Above, Geri Brewer and her daughter, Rasheedah Mahali, an adult patient.

Below left, Jeanne May with her 19-year-old son, Mason Walsh, a residential student.

Below right, Jim and Ruby Yedloutschnig with their daughter, Alicia, an adult patient.