Reclaiming the Joy's of Childhood

What We Do

The Mary Therese Rose Fund allows children to "reclaim the joys of childhood". There are many children with disabilities that require certain needs to be able to make life even more of a pleasure. The fund pays for such expenses that insurance does not cover. This includes hearing aids, walkers, wheel chairs, braces, and even therapeutic activities such as therapeutic horseback riding. Just as Mary was able to enjoy her life to the fullest and have a memorable childhood despite her limitations, the fund's mission is to assist in enabling special needs children to reach this goal.

The Mary Therese Rose Fund assists children from the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, New Jersey. It is with great pleasure that such children could cherish their valuable childhoods and be able to flourish in development.


Saturday Stars

The Mary Therese Rose Fund wants your child to BE A STAR! It's easy, it's fun – and it's Saturday mornings in Ringwood and Ridgewood, NJ.

Getting Involved with Saturday Stars

DANCE: Join Instructor Shannon O'Donnell (PT) for a creative movement class, including ribbon dance and an introduction to ballet.

MOMMY AND ME YOGA: Join Instructor Carla Ferreri (OT) for mommy or daddy or sibling and me yoga. Wear comfortable clothing.

SPORTS DRILLS: Join Instructor Mary Ko (PT) for an introduction to various sports. Learning basic techniques for soccer, baseball, and other interactive games.

ARTS AND CRAFTS: Join Teacher Michelle Hans for drawing, beading, and tons of different crafts

Program Highlights

  • Small group instruction.
  • One high impact and one low impact class offered each week (e.g., dance and yoga or arts/crafts and sports)
  • Classes are held every Saturday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am in Ridgewood, NJ.
  • Each class is approximately 45 minutes.
  • Required equipment provided.
  • Class aides for one to one assistance when needed.
  • All classes formulated to the appropriate age and skill levels.
  • Demonstrations of class activities, including a dance recital, will be presented at the annual fall fund raising dinner.


Who is the program for? 
All Valley Hospital Child Development Center kids..

What is the goal? 
To provide an environment where our special needs kids can just be kids and have fun. They are supervised by qualified therapists and teachers.

How are classes scheduled? 
There are two classes every saturday; so each of the 4 classes will be every other week.

How many classes can we sign up for? 
1 or 4 – it's up to you!

How many aides will be in each class? 
We hope to have a combination of one-on-one aides for those who need it, plus enough teacher assistants to ensure every child gets the help they need to fully participate.

Who are the aides? 
We can't make this happen without volunteer aides for the kids! We need parents, siblings, friends, therapists – even high school students looking for community service hours.

Meet Our Staff

Carla Ferreri has been an ccupational therapist for 20 years and yoga instructor for 15 years. Carla is certified in the hatha yoga technique.

Michelle Hans is a former Kindergarten Teacher with degrees in early childhood education and psychology.

Mary Ko has served as a physical Therapist for 5 years at Hackensack Medical Center. Mary recently earner her doctorate.

Melissa Morgan graduated from Dominican College with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. She is a registered member of the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy, Inc. Melissa is licensed in the state of New Jersey and holds a School Occupational Therapist certificate from the New Jersey Department of Education.

Melissa’s experience includes working in Early Intervention, private practice and public-school settings with clients and students ranging in age 6 months to 25 years of age. She has worked with variety of diagnoses such as, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Prader Willi Syndrome, Fragile X and Sensory Processing Disorder. Melissa has addressed difficulties in sensory processing, fine motor skills, visual motor and perceptual skills, delay in Milestones, self-care, social and life skills. She is trained in Size Matters Handwriting program and will soon be trained in Handwriting Without Tears program. Melissa has been involved with The Mary Therese Rose Fund for ten years.

Shannon O'Donnell
Physical Therapist for 11 years and formerly with the Valley Hospital Child Development Center. Presently she is an early intervention therapist.


How to Join

To submit or receive an application, please contact Nancy Mariani

To sign up for classes right away, click HERE


Horseback Riding

The fund pays for therapeutic riding (sometimes referred to as Hippo Therapy) for several children. Kids receive therapy at various places, including Pony Power Therapies.


Mary's Closet

Mary's Closet offers families the opportunity to borrow used equipment for children who are part of the Mary Therese Rose Fund. Administered solely by the MTRF, Mary's Closet creates a connection between those who need equipment and those who generously donate it.

For information, contact:

Click Here to view items available through Mary's Closet.

Please review the liability contract for using Mary's Closet