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.”

Ride on!

Cyclists will have new routes this year.

The five cycling routes at the 15th annual Miles for Matheny will have a new look. After three years with the same routes, Lee Brush, a resident of Annandale and former president of the Bedminster Flyers cycling club, felt it was time for a change. The 12-mile route is now 10 miles, the 23-mile route is now 25 miles and the 32-mile ride is now 35 miles. The 50 miles and Hills of Attrition rides will remain the same.

The 10-mile distance is the “family friendly” route. In the past, it hadn’t been so friendly because there were some difficult hills and the route crossed a highway.

All cycling rides will use the Whitehouse Station branch of our cycling sponsor, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, as a rest stop, reducing our rest stop locations from four to one. This will make delivery and pickup of supplies easier and should be more interesting for the riders and volunteers at the stop.

Miles for Matheny will be held Sunday, April 22, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack, NJ. The 50-mile and Hills of Attrition rides take off at 10 a.m.; 25 and 35-mile rides start at 10:45 a.m.; and the 10-mile ride leaves at 11:45 a.m.

Miles for Matheny also includes a Kids Fun Run at 11:30 a.m.; a 5K race at 12:15 p.m.; and the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk at 1 p.m. All funds raised help support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to Matheny’s inpatients and to children and adults with disabilities in the community.

For more information, log onto www.milesformatheny.org or call (908) 234-0011, ext. 260.