Adult patient Rasheedah Mahali with, from left, James O'Brien of Metuchen, NJ, Mike Berezny of Peapack, NJ, and Matheny social worker Kelly Haldaman of Bethelehem, PA.
Lelica Palecco, a vocalist with the B.D. Lenz All-Star Band, surveyed the room at The Skylands in Randolph, NJ, and proclaimed, “I’ve never seen a better looking group.” The occasion was The Matheny Prom. The stylish crowd was a mixture of Matheny students and adult patients, family members, volunteers from the community and staff members.
This eagerly anticipated event is but one example of how Matheny does everything possible to enhance the quality of life for its students and patients. The theme of this year’s prom was “A Sweet Escape,” and for four hours everyone did just that—forgetting about their disabilities and concentrating on having a good time.
The Prom was funded by a generous contribution from the Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in East Hanover, NJ.
Matheny student (and Prom King) Yasin Reddick with Rachel, left, and Alyssa Scher of Red Bank.
Morris Hills student Jill Gonzalez and Matheny student Yasin Reddick. Gonzalez was one of many volunteers from the Trinity Lutheran Church Youth Group in Dover, NJ.
The theme of this year’s Matheny Prom was “Fire and Ice,” but the fire quickly melted the ice as students, adult patients, staff members, families and friends from the community took to the dance floor at The Skylands in Randolph, NJ. Tim McLoone, leader of Holiday Express, the all-volunteer band that plays at the prom every year, invited three members of the Matheny Choir to join in the singing early on, and no one stopped dancing until it was time for dessert.
Student volunteers from the Junior Friends of Matheny (Bernards High in Bernardsville, NJ), Morris Hills High in Rockaway, NJ, and the Trinity United Church Youth Group in Dover, NJ, contributed to the spirit and enthusiasm of the evening, which included a special ice sculpture and the crowning of this year’s prom king and queen, Jamie Formisano and Dina Conturso.
Adult patient Taty Manousakis and recreation therapist Meghan Walsh.