Newsletter for the JESPY Community
Fall 2019 Edition  
The Togetherness Trail is an innovative art piece by artist Sarah Langsam . During the course of putting the trail together, Langsam visited JESPY to have Day Hab clients participate in the artistic process. The public art installation is now located on the wood chip path section of The Summit Park Line, which is Summit’s newest park. During her visit, Langsam guided clients with detailed work that involved gluing wood chips onto the wooden rings that are part of the larger art piece. The complete wood chip section is about one tenth of a mile long and is located at Overlook Road and Broad Street. An opening reception will take place November 16th.
Clients enjoy celebrating various holidays. Sukkot is a fun fall celebration they recently attended. Lovingly termed Pizza in the Hut, this traditional gathering included a JESPY-erected traditional Sukkot, which the clients decorated. They then participated in a discussion and Q&A about the holiday (and its meaning) while inside. After the talk, which was led by JESPY’s Director of Operations, Mitch Rottenstreich, clients topped off the celebration by enjoying delicious slices of pizza.

Long-time JESPY client Andrea Weisbard has been an employee at Brookdale Assisted Living in West Orange since the summer of 2018. She was recently presented with a Brookdale Milestone Award Certificate for her outstanding work as an Activities Assistant for the facility’s residents. Congratulations Andrea! 
“I must admit that when I became involved with JESPY (as a Board member) more than 30 years ago, I couldn’t have dreamed of this,” said Dr. Michael Och, at the October 6 th Grand Opening of The Michael Och House – A Center for Aging at JESPY. “But a house like this is so necessary and it’s been so great to hear from the clients, their families, and the people in the community about the importance of this residence.” 
  Nine (9) JESPY House clients now reside at the fully accessible home. In addition to the clients and their families, the event was attended by the home’s namesake Dr. Michael Och and the Och family; local and state government officials; donors who had given generously to support renovations to the house; JESPY Board members; and a wide array of well-wishers.
Also in attendance were South Orange Village Trustee Steve Schnall; Assemblywoman Mila M. Jasey; Marsha Atkind, Executive Director/CEO of The Healthcare Foundation of NJ; and Paul Aronsohn, the NJ Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.
  “I am one of the clients who lives here now and I’m happy to be with people my own age,” shared client Ellen Warshaw. “It was time for a change. I now have friends I can talk to and relate to here in this house. The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful. I love it.”
The Michael Och House (left). Top right: Marsha Atkind, Executive Director/CEO of The Healthcare Foundation of NJ poses with JESPY Executive Director Audrey Winkler, Dr. Michael Och, and JESPY Board President Ron Brandt. Bottom: Several of JESPY’s Aging in Place clients, Audrey Winkler, Board Members, local officials, and members of the Och family participated with Dr. Michael Och in the ribbon cutting ceremony.

JESPY’s Transitions client Rodell Hudson currently volunteers at Sonny’s Bagels in South Orange. He volunteers once a week and has learned the five ingredients that go into making bagels. Rodal has also learned quite a bit about the food industry and safety in the workplace. 
We commend local business owners like Jason Miller (owner of Sonny's) for giving our clients such valuable training opportunities.
Food, fun, and fright were on the menu at this year's Halloween parties. Clients and staff had tons of fun dressing up and sampling snacks and treats at JESPY's annual bash as well as at a special event hosted by the South Orange Elks.
 There was a great sense of fun and light-hearted competition among the nearly 90 golfers at the South Orange Golf Invitational on September 16, 2019. JESPY House was this year’s beneficiary of the fundraiser. Monies raised will make additional resources available to clients in the way of job training, skill development, and the enhancement of their physical & mental wellness.

   Event Highlights:
·        Golfers, including several JESPY clients, played their way through the 18-hole golf course, many of them trying their hand at the special Hole-in-One prize of a 2019 Class-A Mercedes-Benz sponsored by Ray Catena. Although no winner was announced for that award, there were winners for the Top Foursome, Closest to the Pin, and Longest Drive prizes.

·       Event attendees and online supporters participated in a robust silent auction where they bid on Broadway show and sports tickets, one-of-a-kind jewelry items, and more. The funds raised by the auction added to a successful total of $280,000.

·       The Invitational and Dinner was attended by JESPY supporters, event sponsors, JESPY Board, and family members. Staunch JESPY supporter and one of the founders of the Invitational, Deborah Davis Ford - Clerk to the Board of Essex County Freeholders - was the master of ceremonies. 
Clockwise: JESPY clients prepare to tee-off; JESPY Executive Director Audrey Winkler is shown with JESPY’s Board President-Elect Ahadi Bugg-Levine, Assemblywoman Britnee N. Timberlake, and SO Village Trustee Karen Hartshorn Hilton; a golf team shows their skills on the course.
As part of JESPY's ongoing focus on client health and well-being, Nurse Pat Taylor recently spearheaded several wellness events. Clockwise: 'Guys Night Out' featured a personal health discussion with Planned Parenthood's Reginald Rosarion followed by a barbecue. Another recent workshop on how to identify and manage allergic reactions was held recently.
Pet Therapy has been known to have many benefits. It decreases depression and anxiety, encourages communication and socialization, reduces isolation, and provides comfort to those who participate in the activity.
   Sandy Sydlowski, JESPY’s Administrative Manager, began offering Pet Therapy sessions this past August with her newly adopted dog Rosie, to the delight of a number of JESPY clients. The one-hour sessions take place every other Tuesday at 102 Prospect Street (J3) from 5-6pm. Sessions recently began at the Och House on the alternate Tuesdays from 5:45-6:45pm. 
  “The number of clients vary each week,” said Sandy. “We have had as many as six and as little as two per session. I like to keep the groups smaller, so the clients really have an opportunity to bond with Rosie.”
  "She has a gentle demeanor, and the more we got to know her, the more we realized she would make a perfect therapy dog.” Sandy and Rosie were recently certified by two area Pet Therapy organizations. They visit schools, colleges, senior centers, and nursing homes, and will begin visiting local hospitals later this year. For more information, email
JESPY clients have had full schedules, going on trips and participating in enrichment and sports activities. Starting top left - Clients went on a trip to Salem, MA, where they visited downtown Salem and the Salem Witch Museum; JESPY Thunder Soccer team placed 4th in the Division 3 Soccer sectionals; s everal JESPY clients attended the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk in Verona Park; and the Chess Club honed their skills on a super-sized chess board during a recent trip to Livingston Mall.
JESPY’s J Street Band competed in SOMA’s Got Talent held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC). As a result of receiving the largest number of votes, they made it to the finals, performed in front of an attentive audience, and participated in an on-stage interview; JESPY golfers competed in the Special Olympics of NJ Level One Golf Competition.
JESPY's Athletics & Fitness Coordinator Jerica Best recently appeared on Comcast Newsmakers to discuss our program. See her interview Here . (Right) Kinga Lewinski, Lead Clinician in JESPY's Clinical Department attended the Essex County Senior Wellness Fair at the Codey Arena in West Orange as part of our continual effort to inform the public about JESPY's many services.

In memory of JESPY’s beloved client Ellen Borowsky, who passed away earlier this year, trees were recently planted in Israel. The planting, which was initiated by SWEA Supervisor Nicole Rambone, was made possible through a partnership between the National Jewish Memorial Wall and Jewish National Fund. Additional plans are also underway at JESPY to continue to honor Ellen in other meaningful ways.
Giving Tuesday is coming soon! Your donations help us continue and develop programming (life and work skills, athletics, and artistic development) for the clients we serve.
Welcome to the most recent additions to JESPY's staff management team. Clockwise: Lauren Coakley - Special Projects Coordinator; Lisa Fiore - WREE Supervisor; Sherill Welcome - Clients Engagement Coordinator; Hayley Zemann - WREE Voc./Transportation Coordinator; and Tonya Smith - Case Manager.
We look forward to sharing with you more exciting happenings at JESPY House as we strive to enable our clients toward success in independent living within the community.


Audrey Winkler
Executive Director
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