Perhaps the biggest celebration in the borough all year is the annual Miles for Matheny event, a fundraiser and community celebration of the Matheny Medical and Educational Center, where people with medically complex developmental disabilities and severe special needs live, learn and receive treatment.
In its 20th year, the series of races and a wheelchair walk on the streets of Peapack-Gladstone will take place on Sunday, June 4. Also included will be free, family-friendly community activities in Liberty Park in Peapack.
“Miles for Matheny, our 20th anniversary celebration, is an event not only for the residents and students of Matheny, but for our community,” said Sean Bielefeldt, director of recreation therapy and adult day health services at Matheny. “This event is about celebrating who we are and what we do at Matheny.
“One of our goals is integrating our residents into the community, and this event allows for such collaboration and participation to exist. The festivities, culminating with the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk, are all designed to allow participants, regardless of ability level, to have fun and celebrate all that Matheny has to offer. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind event.”
All are welcome in the park from 10 a.m. until noon for a petting zoo, bounce house, acrobats and jugglers, a meet-and-greet with the New York Red Bulls soccer team — who will demonstrate their soccer skills — and food, including a Breakfast of Champions presented by the Friends of Matheny, Latin cuisine food samples from La Fe, and traditional carnival treats such as popcorn, ice cream, cotton candy and more.
But the real excitement of the day will be the races, and there are several for which the public can register. Especially if Monday’s Tour of Somerville races whetted your appetite, you can enjoy five bike-race courses of 10, 25, 35 or 50 miles, plus the challenging Hills of Attrition endurance ride.
All routes are designed by the Bedminster Flyers Cycling Club, with rest stops sponsored by the Peapack-Gladstone Bank. For people on foot, there will be two events. The Kids Fun Run, sponsored by Porzio, Bromberg and Newman P.C. — a law firm in Morristown — is billed as “a friendly competition where everyone’s a winner.” For joggers and adults of all ages, there’s the one-mile Fitness Walk; Fitbits welcome.
Matheny is a special hospital, pre-K through 12th grade school, and fine arts program (ArtsAccessProgram.org) for children and adults with medically complex physical and developmental disabilities. To learn more, go to www.matheny.org.