Brick Inscriptions — 2018 into 2019

Posted on: May 17th, 2018 by jeni No Comments

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Thank you to all of our 2018-2019 Gift Brick Sponsors!

You have a creative place in history,
and you are supporting our mission –
together, we are creating peace for our future.
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Want to add your message and support
Mattie’s Foundation with a brick sponsorship?

CLICK HERE…  

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These bricks will be installed
during Spring 2019.
(1800 Piccard Drive, Rockville, MD 20850)
We will post the installation date when determined.
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Photos of the installation and bricks will be
posted below the inscriptions on this page.

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(All inscriptions will be centered on brick,
and uniform in size/spacing).

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SPONSOR

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INSCRIPTION

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Jay Paulus
Wheeling, WV 

Marianne &
Jay Paulus
Wheeling, WV 

 

Tommy & Joan McGurrell
Dublin, Ireland
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Thanks, Mattie
Joan & Tommy
Dublin Ireland

Jeni Stepanek
& Mattie
Rockville, MD

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Uncle Mattie
loves
Declan 

 

For Ken & Julio
from Jeni
Rockville, MD

TBD

 

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2018-2019 Gift Brick Photo Album

will be posted soon after installation… 

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Thank you to all of our 2018-2019 Gift Brick Sponsors!

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Return to Gift Brick Sponsorship main page

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Return to Mattie’s Foundation main page

 

 

 

2018 Peace Day Celebration — JULY 14

Posted on: May 7th, 2018 by jeni No Comments

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Saturday, July 14, 2018

King Farm Village Green & local shops
800 Pleasant Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

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(activity tents, games, moon bounce,
entertainment, and more – street area)
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(food & beverage — Botanero,
Fontina Grille, & Coffee Republic)

Peace activity tents & entertainment
 1-4 pm… (FREE)
Cake cutting & Peace Day proclamation
begins 2 pm… (FREE)
“Guest Bartending” and restaurant peace chats
continues til 7 pm…
with a classical guitar performance
in Botanero (around 5 pm) 

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Join us for music & dancing, games & activities,
moon bounce & face painting, crafts & tie dye,
food & fun & and a festive celebration as we
Make Peace the News!
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Facebook Event Info Link –> click here…  

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Entertainment Featuring:

Mix 107.3′s Jimmy Alexander

Listen and laugh as this local DJ from the
Jack Diamond Morning Show keeps the
party moving with music & conversation

The Black & Tan Band

Enjoy Irish/Celtic music performed by
local judges and courthouse officials,
including King Farm neighbor — Michael Algeo
(the band will also be among our “Guest Bartenders”)

ZamDance

Be inspired by Jackie Zamora and dance along
with members of her dance group –
which celebrates youth and adults with
physical and developmental disabilities

Jump In & Dance

Get in the groove with John Chu and his dance group
as they lead folks of all ages in a dance celebration
to the tune of “Up Town Funk”

Kick’s Karate Rockville Demo Team

Watch local youth and adults share their talent,
respect, and self-control through martial arts

Community Mosaic Creation

“We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts…”
Participate in a community creation hosted by
the artivate organization with
Corien Quiroga, Jim Modrick, & Cliff Moy,
and be a part of a mosaic that will be displayed
around the world in coming years!
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Tie Dye Peace Shirt Creations

How do you visualize peace?
What colors and swirls bring together
diverse elements in a collaborative way?
Join Carol Scott and her family and
create your own keepsake shirt!
(Small donation requested for shirts)

 

Community Conversations & Cake

Spend a few minutes with cake and conversation
in our Community Conversation tents!
Representatives from local police & fire departments,
education systems and non-profits,
elected and campaigning leaders and more,
will all be on hand to talk with children & adults
about everything from kindness and respect
to how to BEGIN peace in our
homes, schools, and communities
to tending to basic human needs and
making a positive difference in our world.
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Guest Bartending — with local leaders!

Get to know your local leaders (elected and campaigning)
as the pour one of the Peace Day signature drinks
(Sunrise Sangria & Sunset Cerveza
– Mattie’s fav time & color!)…
There will also be Tie Dye Peace Punch for the kids!
(Be sure to enjoy some great food and/or other beverages
at Botanero, Fontina Grille, or Coffee Republic)

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Peace Station Tents…
Information & Inspiration through
crafts and games and festive fun…  

Begin in our Peace Garden Tent
where you can learn more about
Mattie, his Three Choices for Peace message,
and the National Peace Day Campaign…
then create a “Name Tag with Purpose” 
and move through the other Peace Tents…
where Peace Guides will help children & adults
explore different elements of Mattie’s peace message
through crafts and conversations and fun…
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The 2018 Peace Station Tents include
Seek, Make, Bring, Choose, & Celebrate Peace… 
each filled with activities and keepsakes…
Also on hand… face painting, moon bounce,
a fire truck, police car, and the
Mix 107.3 Van & Crew — with music & fun!

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CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

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2018 Peace Day Event Map

2018 Peace Day Guides, Crew, Sponsors, Supporters, & Talent

 

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Media Coverage

Mix 107.3 Jack Diamond Morning Show
Rockville 11 TV
EWTN, DCFox5
ABC/WJLA, CBS/WUSA, NBC4 (invited)
CNN, Washingon Post (invited) 

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Community Leaders & Special Guests

INVITED:

Representatives from the White House
Representatives from the Senate & Congress

Representatives from
state, county, & local government
Other leaders and special guests including
representatives police, fire, and education services 

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CONFIRMED PARTICIPATION
in our “Community Conversations”
and/or “Guest Bartending” activities:

 Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton

 Members of the Rockville City Council
Virginia Onley, Mark Pierzchala 

 State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan

 Maryland Delegate Marc Korman

 Montgomery Council Rep. Sidney Katz

 King Farm Citizens Assembly Reps
Martin Green (Pres), Barry Jackson, Nancy Paul

 Maryland Circuit Court
Judge (retired) Michael Algeo

 Members of the local judicial system

 MoCo Police Dept Autism Ambassador
Jake Edwards

 Montgomery County Police Dept
Dan Helton, Doug Tressler, Casandra Tressler

 City of Rockville Police Dept
Corporal Rick Halverson & Corporal Ken Matney 

 City of Gaithersburg Police Dept
Officer Dan Lane 

 International Association of Fire Firefighters
Fire truck & reps from Rockville, MoCo & PG Fire
Gene Malone & Jimmy Danyko (Greenburgh/Yonkers)
JJ Jackson & Robin Gray (Mississauga)
Teresa Crisman (PGFD) 

 Local educators and community leaders
Maria Blaeuer (
Christine McComas (Grace’s Law)
Cheri Dowling (PPMD)
Christina Preston (Educator)  

 VIP Guests from the We Are Family Foundation
Mark & Rose Barondess, &
Three Dot Dash Global Teen Leaders

 Playwright, Activist & Improv Artist
Robert Galinsky 

 Children’s Author & Educator
Timothy Bellavia & WAATSI Dolls

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2018 Peace Day Celebration
is a FREE event for all people
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(we still have sponsorships available)

Donations are encouraged
to support the peace mission of the
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation
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Our Peace Shop (1-4 pm)
will have wristbands, books, t-shirts,
personalized gifts bricks for
Mattie’s Park & more available
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Peace Stations & Entertainment (1-4 pm)
will have hands-on activities, crafts, games,
& converstation tips for children and adults
to engage in understanding peace as a choice
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Local Restaurants (1-7 pm)
to donate 15% proceeds
to Mattie’s Foundation from 1-7 pm
Please eat & drink generously!
And enjoy a chat with the “Guest Bartenders”
– local leaders (elected & campaigning & VIPs)

Botanero  Small Plates/Tapas & Signature Drinks
(Sunrise Sangria, Sunset Cerveza, Tie Dye Peace Punch)

Fontina Grille  Pasta, Pizza, Salads… & Signature Drinks
(Sunrise Sangria, Sunset Cerveza, Tie Dye Peace Punch)
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Coffee Republic –  Muffins, cookies…  & Signature Drinks
(
several Peace Tea beverage options)

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 THANK YOU TO OUR
2018 SPONSORS
& SUPPORTERS
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(CLICK HERE to learn more
about the benefits

of becoming a
2018 Peace Day
sponsor  or supporter)

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2018 EVENT SPONSORS

DONATIONS & IN-KIND SUPPORT

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2018 PEACE GUIDES
& VOLUNTEERS

LIST COMING SOON… 

2018 Peace Day Planning Team

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2018 Peace Guides

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NOTE:
Pleasant Drive and the access road in front of
Botanero and Fontina restaurants
will be closed to accommodate
moon bounce and peace activity tents.
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Please park in surrounding lots & streets.

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E-mail HeartsongBooks@gmail.com
if you would like to be an event
Peace Guide Volunteer, Supporter, or Sponsor

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The Peace Day event in King Farm celebrates
the City of Rockville, Maryland’s commitment
to an annual day dedicated to peace.
This activity is part of a larger effort to secure both
Peace Day proclamations at state and national levels. 

Learn more about the 
National Peace Day Campaign here…

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About Mattie and this event…

Mattie J.T. Stepanek created seven NY Times Bestselling books of Heartsongs poetry and Just Peace essays before dying due to neuromuscular disease just before his 14th birthday. He was an award-winning peace advocate and a frequent guest on shows like Oprah, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America.
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Since his death in 2004, the City of Rockville, Maryland (where Mattie lived during his final years) has proclaimed his birthday as a “Peace Day,” encouraging local citizens to embrace peace through education and celebration, and rooted in information and inspiration provided in Mattie’s messages and materials.
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His namesake Foundation has been campaigng for a National Peace Day since 2014, with the support of thousands of citizens, celebrities, and politicians — including a former president, senators, congressmen, mayors and other representatives.
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In 2017, the City of Rockville voted to make Peace Day in honor Mattie’s birthday an annual event “in perpetua” — and serve as role models for making a day to “begin peace” a priority. In 2018, the leaders in Montgomery County and the Governor of Maryland also chose to proclaim Peace Day.
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The annual celebration of Peace Day  and the mission to bring a day for peace to this country has been featured in both television and print media at local and national levels.
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One person can make a difference… together, we can create change. Join us now, and help “Make Peace the News!”

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Learn more about Mattie here…-
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Learn more about the 
National Peace Day Campaign here…

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Honor Mattie’s birthday with a gift
to his peace mission here…  

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EVENT PHOTO ALBUM

To be posted soon after the event… 

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Peace Day Event

Sponsorships Available

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Let us celebrate YOU on our website,
in our print materials,
and in our media opportunities…
support peace with your sponsorship

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Click here
to learn more…  

 

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2018 SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE

Let us celebrate YOU on our website,
in our print materials,
and in our media opportunities…
support peace with your sponsorship
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PEACE EVENT SPONSOR
Mattie’s Peace Day 2018 Sponsor
– 1 available –

Learn more…
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 PEACE PROGRAM SPONSORS
Program Tent & Stages
– 3 available –
Heartsongs (entertainment)
Dance for Peace (dancing!)
Garden (cake & conversation)

Learn more… 

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 PEACE STATION SPONSORS
Peace Activity Tents
– 7 available –
Seek Peace, Make Peace, Bring Peace,
Mosaic, Play for Peace, Kids & Kindness, &
Community Conversation Tents

Learn more… 

MATTIE’S BIRTHDAY/PEACE CHAMPIONS
– unlimited number –

Learn more…

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Return to Peace Events main page here… 

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Return to News main page here...

 

 

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Celebrating the Best of Nature, and Humanity: 2017 Solar Eclipse Notes

Posted on: August 21st, 2017 by jeni No Comments

Celebrating the Best of Nature…
and Humanity:
2017 Solar Eclipse Notes

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Nature is a miracle, and an every day gift to be treasured. Today — nature gave us an amazing demonstration of this miracle. Not only was the solar eclipse an incredible natural phenomenon to witness, but the event also highlighted kindness and sharing — and peace — among neighbors, who were all focused on witnessing something ever-so-nifty, and who chose to do so “in community” with others — both known and unknown before today.
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Here is how my afternoon went…
After not being able to secure any “safe to watch the eclipse- glasses,” Christopher Dobbins and I each donned multiple pairs of sunglasses (see amusing photos in the album below), hoping to at least get a glimpse of this once in a lifetime event. Uhm… nope. Didn’t really work for us.
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After a few (unsuccessful) moments of observation from our backyard, I headed across the street to the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, where I could experience this event in the Peace Garden. That would make it special, even if I couldn’t really “see” it unfold. Within seconds, global neighbors (from Taiwan and China and Thailand — who had each just met each other for the first time) were saying, “Here, look through these — it is very different!.” They were sharing three pairs of eclipse-watching safety glasses secured from the Smithsonian Museum, and offering to share with every other global neighbor who chose Mattie’s Park as their place to observe this spectacular event.
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Wow! And thank you!
They were correct — watching the eclipse occur through the special glasses was just a beautiful gift of nature to witness, with safety and with clarity. For more than an hour, we all took turns, watching the eclipse for a minute or so — in awe — then passing the glasses to another neighbor, who would do the same, until a few minutes later, when it would be our turn again. The sharing was not structured or pre-planned, but it was organized and naturally occurring — simply by caring about others’ needs and wants, and ensuring they were balanced with personal needs and wants. And as the time passed, we all experienced — fully — the beauty of the eclipse with just a handful of special safety glasses in hand.
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Together, we watched the moon passing between the earth and the sun — in our area, blocking out 82 percent of the light. Together, we ooooh’d and aaaaah’d and cheered and shared the glasses. And as time passed, we engaged in conversation, and got to know a bit more about each other, and how we all ended up in this place, at this time.
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So I also say — Wow! And thank you!
As the global headlines of the week remind us, and sadden us, as we witness repeated acts of deliberate violence, and the injuring and killing of innocent children and adults as they celebrated life, this simple act of people sharing their resources with others — with other neighbors, yet not previously known or connected in time and space — was a reminder that, like nature, humanity is a treasured gift. And #PeaceIsPossible if we make peace, and important acts like kindness and respect, our choice.
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Today, I got to know a few new “neighbors from around the block and around the world.” Mattie Stepanek would be so happy. I look forward to future interactions as well. These are the truths that make life so wonderful. We are a global family. And that, is a gift — of nature and humanity at its best.
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Thank you, to Alex and Sue and Gigi and John and all the other new friends — my gifts of the 2017 Solar Eclipse. I am already looking forward to future gatherings with my newest friends, and global neighbors.
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#ChoosePeace.
#SolarEclipse.
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Message from Mattie’s Mom

Posted on: August 1st, 2017 by jeni No Comments

Message from Mattie’s Mom:
On Jeni’s Thriving Heartsong

 

Thank you to all for sharing your lovely and inspirational thoughts in response to this month’s Washingtonian Magazine article about Mattie and me. In many ways, the piece is beautiful. But I do want to re-assure everyone that I am still defying all medical odds, and moving through each day with purpose and gratitude and a celebration of life.
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I am working and playing and living and praying. Yes, I have many medical challenges and they can be life-threatening, and I rely on much medical support every day – from the ventilator and oxygen to the wheelchair and IV fluids to a pacemaker and more… but despite it all, I look good (yay) and I am doing quite well (super yay).
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None of us knows how much time we really have on earth. I guess, like Mattie (and many others who have statistical odds stacked heavily against them due to multiple life-threatening conditions), I am keenly aware of the sacred gift of each moment. So – by choice – I endeavor to give depth to each of those moments, which somehow helps me focus less on length of living.
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That said, I also am hoping to reach my goal: “When I grow up, I want to be 83, and a beach chair philosopher.”
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I am ever-grateful for ongoing prayers, which I believe has much to do with how well I am doing at this time – despite everything I have been through and continue to go through medically and emotionally.
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Today, and each tomorrow, I encourage each of you to take a deep breath, and with purpose, exhale with the words “wow!” (about something or someone in your life) and “thank you!” (about you and your gift of life, and the gift you can choose to be for others).
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Moving forthward with hope and gratitude.
Jeni (Mattie’s mom / Mama Peace).
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PS — this article should have had a word like “resilience” or “purpose” or “gratitude” or “forthward” or “hope” in the title, and a bit more balance in the text which seemed to highlight the burdens more than the blessings… missed opportunity by the editors, even though the overall piece offers inspiration.

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Link to Washingtonian Magazine article
(August 2017 issue)

“Jeni Stepanek’s Last Heartsong”
by Justin Heckert –> click here…  

Return to News main page

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2017 Peace Day Party — EVENT PHOTOS POSTED !!!

Posted on: May 19th, 2017 by jeni No Comments

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2017 Peace Day Party

Sunday, July 16, 2017
From 3 to 8 pm
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Indoor/Outdoor Party

Botanero Restaurant,
Fontina Restaurant,
Coffee Republic,
& the KF Village Green
800 Pleasant Drive, Rockville, MD 20850
(4 blocks south of Mattie’s Park) 

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Entertainment Featuring:

Mix 107.3′s Jimmy Alexander

Listen and laugh as this local DJ from the
Jack Diamond Morning Show keeps the
party moving with music & conversation

The Black & Tan Band

Enjoy Irish/Celtic music performed by
local judges and courthouse officials,
including King Farm neighbor — Michael Algeo

Omékongo Dibinga

Be inspired by this local “UPstander” and
peace activist who is an award-winning rapper

Kick’s Karate Rockville Demo Team

Watch local youth and adults share their talent,
respect, and self-control through martial arts
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Media Coverage

Washingtonian Magazine
Mix 107.3 Jack Diamond Morning Show
Rockville 11 TV
NBC4
FOX5  

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Local Politicians Invited (include…)

Senator Ben Cardin
Senator Chris Van Hollen
Governor Larry Hogan
Congressman Jamie Raskin
State Senator Cheryl Kagan
Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton
Rockville City Council Members
Maryland Delegate Marc Korman
Maryland Delegate Aruna Miller
County Executive Ike Leggett
Montgomery County Council Members
Montgomery Council Rep. Sidney Katz
Montgomery County Rep. Hans Reimer
Montgomery County Rep. Al Carr
Montgomery Council Rep Marc Elrich
Representatives from The White House
and other special guests…  

 

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Click on image to enlarge…-

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Celebrating Mattie’s
Birthday 
Peace Day
with Mattie’s Foundation,
the City of Rockville and
King Farm Neighbors as we
“Make Peace the News!” 

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Indoor Parties
3 to 8 pm

Mattie’s Foundation Treasurer
(Chris Dobbins) will serve as
“guest bartender” at
Botanero Restaurant.
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Signature drinks for the event:
Sunrise Sangria & Sunset Cerveza
(for the adults) and
Tie-Dye Peace Punch
(for both kids & adults).
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These signature drinks are
celebrating Mattie’s and
his mom, Jeni’s, favorite colors
and symbols for hope & peace.
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Botanero Restaurant
will be
donating 15 percent of all
food and drink sales from 3 to 8 pm
to Mattie’s Foundation
to support the peace mission.
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Fontina Grille
will also be celebrating
Peace Day and donating
15 percent of all 3 to 8 pm
food/drink sale proceeds to
Mattie’s Foundation.

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Coffee Republic
will be offering three
“Peace Tea” beverage options
to celebrate the Peace Day Party,
and donating 15 percent of all
food/drink sales from 3-8 pm
to Mattie’s Foundation.

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Outdoor Party — 3 to 6 pm

 Join us on the KF Village Green
just across from
Botanero & Fontina & Coffee Republic
for FREE entertainment and peace activities,
including a moon bounce and face painting
and cake and conversation
with local leaders, politicians and
families, & neighbors of all ages,
hosted by Mattie’s Foundation,
the City of Rockville, MD and
the King Farm Citizen’s Assembly.
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Pleasant Drive and the access road in front of
Botanero and Fontina restaurants
will be closed to accommodate
moon bounces and peace activity tents.

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Outdoor Party 

is FREE

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Donations Encouraged

 

Program & Event
Highlights
click on image
to the right –>

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Botanero & Fontina & Coffee Republic
will be donating

15% of event drink/food sales to
benefit the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation…
Please generously enjoy the signature & special drinks
& the great tapas and menu items!
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Peace t-shirts, wristbands, inspiration cards
and more “Peace Shop” items will be available
on the King Farm Village Green.
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We are anticipating media coverage.
Please join us, and together, we will
“Make Peace the News!”
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Volunteer,

Sponsor,

&

Distinguished
Guests

Lists


<— click on the image to the left 

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E-mail HeartsongBooks@gmail.com
if you would like to be an event
Peace Guide Volunteer.

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Learn more about the
National Peace Day Campaign here…


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About Mattie and this event…

Mattie J.T. Stepanek created seven NY Times Bestselling books of Heartsongs poetry and Just Peace essays before dying due to neuromuscular disease just before his 14th birthday. He was an award-winning peace advocate and a frequent guest on shows like Oprah, Larry King Live, and Good Morning America. Since his death in 2004, the City of Rockville, Maryland (where Mattie lived during his final years) has proclaimed his birthday as a “Peace Day,” encouraging local citizens to embrace peace through education and celebration, and rooted in information and inspiration provided in Mattie’s messages and materials. His namesake Foundation has been campaigng for a National Peace Day since 2014, with the support of thousands of citizens, celebrities, and politicians — including a former president, senators, congressmen, mayors and other representatives. This party and the mission to bring a day for peace to this country will be featured in an upcomong feature article in the Washingtonian Magazine.
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Learn more about Mattie here…-
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Learn more about the 
National Peace Day Campaign here…  

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Honor Mattie’s birthday with a gift
to his peace mission here…  

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EVENT PHOTO ALBUM

ROWS 1 through 47.5 –
Photos by Event Photographer — Tom Robertson

ROWS 47.5 through end – 
Photos posted on Facebook
 by Peace Guides & Peace Day Party participants

2017 0716 Peace Day SLIDER FINAL 2017 Peace Day poster FINAL Botanero logo Coffee Republic logo Fontina Grille logo 2017 0716 Agenda DETAILS 2017 Sponsor Vol list FINAL _MG_0481 _MG_0482 _MG_0483 _MG_0487 _MG_0488 _MG_0489 _MG_0491 _MG_0492 _MG_0493 _MG_0494 _MG_0497 _MG_0500 _MG_0502 _MG_0504 _MG_0507 _MG_0509 _MG_0510 _MG_0512 _MG_0514 _MG_0515 _MG_0516 _MG_0518 _MG_0519 _MG_0521 _MG_0522 _MG_0524 _MG_0526 _MG_0527 _MG_0529 _MG_0530 _MG_0532 _MG_0534 _MG_0536 _MG_0540 _MG_0542 _MG_0544 _MG_0547 _MG_0549 _MG_0551 _MG_0552 _MG_0553 _MG_0555 _MG_0557 _MG_0558 _MG_0559 _MG_0560 _MG_0561 _MG_0562 _MG_0566 _MG_0567 _MG_0568 _MG_0569 _MG_0570 _MG_0582 _MG_0583 _MG_0584 _MG_0585 _MG_0586 _MG_0589 _MG_0595 _MG_0604 _MG_0605 _MG_0609 _MG_0610 _MG_0611 _MG_0613 _MG_0614 _MG_0615 _MG_0616 _MG_0617 _MG_0620 _MG_0623 _MG_0626 _MG_0628 _MG_0630 _MG_0633 _MG_0634 _MG_0635 _MG_0637 _MG_0638 _MG_0639 _MG_0640 _MG_0641 _MG_0644 _MG_0645 _MG_0647 _MG_0649 _MG_0651 _MG_0653 _MG_0656 _MG_0657 _MG_0659 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Return to Peace Events main page here… 

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Return to News main page here..

 

 

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Catch up on our latest news items…

Posted on: April 5th, 2017 by jeni No Comments

Visit our News page here… 

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Stay up to date on
activities and information
that involve Mattie’s Foundation. 

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Current news items include:

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– Nelson Mandela to be honored with Mattie Peacemaker Award
during We Are Family Foundation Gala, April 28, in New York City

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– 30 new Global Teen Leaders take Mattie’s peace vision “forthward”
following the annual Three Dot Dash “Just Peace Summit”

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– Mattie’s mom honored by DC Children’s Hospital
for decades of advocacy work on behalf of children & families

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– and much much more…

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Visit our News page here… 

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Visit our Archived News page here… 
 

2018 — Celebrating Mattie’s 28th Birthday!

Posted on: January 9th, 2017 by jeni No Comments

 

Happy 28th Birthday,
Mattie J.T. Stepanek

(and Happy 13 Year Anniversary
for Mattie’s Foundation!) 

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NOTE: Yes — the annual birthday campaign is year round!
You will be celebrated on this page all year,
from January through December!

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We HIGHLIGHT the campaign during the months of
Mattie’s anniversary (June 22)
and his birthday (July 17),
but we post supporters year-round!  

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 -
2018 is a special year…
we are celebrating what would be
Mattie’s 28th birthday,
and the 13th anniversary of the
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation! 
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Last year, more than $5,000 was raised for
Mattie’s Foundation during his
26th Birthday Campaign with 150+ gifts
from Birthday Peace Champions!
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Because of these Champions,
we are able to continue sharing
many of our activities and programs
at no cost to global participants.

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Let’s make the
2018 Birthday Campaign
amazingly successful, with
gifts that support his peace mission,
and our 2018 theme: 

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“Peace is possible…
choose peace!” 

– Mattie J.T. Stepanek

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———–-

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Thank you celebrating Mattie’s 28th birthday

all year long, and especially

throughout June and July!

—-

We invite you to become a
Birthday Champion (gifts of $28 or more)
and share a message on the website
-
or become a
Birthday FRIEND (gifts up to $27).

=
All gifts that celebrate
Mattie’s 28th birthday and
support his ongoing
peace mission are
100 percent tax deductible!


Just click here…

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These gifts honor
Mattie’s life and legacy
and support his Foundation.

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All Birthday Champions are listed listed
 on our 2018 Peace Champions page (here…)

– 

Champions who donate $28 (or more)
to honor Mattie’s 27th birthday may also
offer a brief birthday/peace message
to be posted along with
 your name/family/business
on the Peace Champions page
(click here…) 

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Gifts of $25 or $100 (or more)
entitle the sponsor to enroll at no extra cost in
Mattie’s Peace Club or VIP Membership program.
Please make a note in the COMMENT section
of your donation, and we will be in touch!

 –

You may share gifts as individuals,
as families and groups,
as businesses and organizations.

It’s never too early or too late to join:

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

—-

You may also mail donations to:

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation
402 King Farm Blvd. #125
Rockville, MD 20850

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Click here to see the
2018 Peace Champions
including the

Birthday Campaign messages…

 —-

Click here to see all of
our Peace Champions
across the years…

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Return to News page

e-Peace Update & 2017 Activity Preview!

Posted on: December 23rd, 2016 by jeni No Comments

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For global neighbors of all faiths, in all spaces of our world… 

December Prayer
by Mattie J.T Stepanek
penned December 1999 (Age 9)

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(Please click on image to enlarge) 

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December 2016 e-Peace Update

(e-mailed to members of
Mattie’s Peace Network & Mattie’s Peace Clubs)

Hello friends - -Another year is coming to a close, and the dawning year is sure to bring many changes. Change, even when necessary or inevitable (or desired or undesired), can be difficult, with unknowns being a source of hesitation or hardship for some, and hope or healing for others.

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I used to share this thought with my son Mattie:

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We can’t always choose what happens to us or around us, and we can’t choose our feelings — BUT — we can choose our attitudes, and we can choose our words and our actions, in any and every moment. 

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So whether a given moment involves celebration or suffering, or tragedy or triumph, or perhaps just the mundane day-to-day stuff that moves us from one minute to the next — we always have a choice in how we touch others and the future — through our thoughts and attitudes, which are expressed through our words and actions. 

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Mattie processed and included this thought in his  “Heartsongs” messages of purpose and peace. He understood that it is this truth — that even as natural and human disasters occur, and despite what others think or say or do, each individual person always has the choice to think and say and do and BE “good” — which is how a just peace can unfold.

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Mattie understood, and inspired us to realize  that even amid change, and concern, and hesitation, we can choose to believe that hope is real, and that peace is possible. And more importantly, we can choose to be a source of hope and peace — for ourselves, and for others, and for our world.

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This is the message that underlies the
mission of Mattie’s Foundation.  

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As most of you in  “Mattie’s Peace Network” know, Mattie’s Foundation is a very small, volunteer-based non-profit. And the 2015 and 2016 years have been difficult for us, as I (Mattie’s mom and Foundation Executive Director) have been dealing with challenges related to cancer and neuromuscular disease, and also significant complications related to my cancer treatments.

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The tough news is that the health challenges are ongoing and progressive. But the nifty news is that I am resilient, and I have a great support team, and I am adapting and figuring out how to “live around the complications and challenges.” This means I am choosing to set some big goals for 2017, and I will be focused on tending to things that really matter — family and friends, local and global neighbors, and fulfilling the mission of Mattie’s Foundation.

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During 2017, Mattie’s Foundation will be using a phrase from Mattie’s  “Peace Pledge” (on our bookmarks) as the theme that guides our programs and activities:

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“I am peace. Together, we are peace.”

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Throughout the year, we will be sharing both inspiration and information from Mattie’s messages of hope and peace and purpose. We will offer a variety of activities and programs created to support children and adults, families and educators, students and leaders, and folks of diverse races and religions and realities in better understanding what peace IS, and what peace is NOT. Our vision is that our materials and messages will both encourage and equip people in moving peace from a possibility, to a reality — at  individual  and community levels.

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  • Early in 2017, I will be sharing information about a new key Foundation volunteer who will be serving as our “Chief Operations Officer.” She has already secured a free monthly half-page of space in our local “Washington Parent” magazine — so we can update local families and educators and other leaders on our latest activities. As we endeavor to “Make Peace the News” – we hope to secure space (or time) in other publications and media outlets (please let us know if you can help with that). Just imagine a Peace Corner in every newspaper and magazine and website, or a Peace Pause or Peace Spotlight each week on every radio or tv news show!
  • During January and February, we will continue working hard on our National “Peace Day” Campaign effort (something that requires presidential legislation), and we will be posting messages in celebration of Black History Month. We will get back on track with our regular e-Peace Updates (for members of Mattie’s Peace Network and Mattie’s Peace Clubs), and with my “Messages from Mama Peace” (for youth, families, educators and other leaders and advisors). We will also be coordinating our spring “personalized gift brick” drive for the newest bricks and message inscriptions that will be placed in Mattie’s Peace Garden during the spring.-
  • During March, April (National Poetry Month), and May, we will be advertising, processing, and posting all the submissions (artwork, photos, and other materials) for the 2017 Mattie’s Peace Tree activity. We hope to have hundreds (or thousands) of local and global neighbors participating in this free annual international activity with the motto – “many people, many places — one purpose: peace!” And, we hope to have some amazing prizes to offer to participants in our Peace Treeactivity (prizes will be based on participation, and awarded through random drawings).
    - 
  • During June, July, and August, we will highlight our ongoing #Change4Peace activities, which are featured both on our website and celebrated with crafts and games and more in the “Peace Station” tents during our summer peace event. For our 2017 event, we will again collaborate with the City of Rockville, Maryland on an annual “party with a purpose” – which will include the Foundation’s July 4 Peace Gathering and the City’s Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration – all in the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park & Peace Garden. Also, while Mattie’s Birthday Campaign is a year-round activity, we will highlight this essential funding effort during the months of Mattie’s anniversary (June) and his birthday (July).
    - 
  • During September and October, we will highlight the latest updates to our Teacher Tips & Lesson Plans pages, and to our Peace Tips & Poetry Links pages (both on Mattie’s website). These pages celebrate the work of families and educators (and students and classes and schools and community and spiritual organizations) who are seeking or have earned free Peace Activity Certificates from our Foundation, and also participants (past and present) in our Peace Certification Program – who are certified either individually or as a community, or who have participated in one of our Pathways to Peace Train-the-Trainer Workshops.-
  • During November and December, we will focus on “thanks” and “giving” — with messages of the importance of gratitude, for you and from you, and with reflections on giving — of ourselves, and for each other, and for our world. And, I hope to be sending out a most amazing “end of year review” e-Peace Update – highlighting and celebrating all the amazing activities and programs that unfolded and made 2017 a “good” year — for local and global neighbors — even amid change.-

_
These are just a few highlights of our vision for the coming year. Much will be the same — rooted in our familiar programs and activities, but much will also be new as we create and offer additional or updated materials and resources and activities. Yes, change is difficult. But, change is how we grow forthward. During 2017, we at Mattie’s Foundation hope to support YOU — in attitude and action — so that you can embrace change, with peace, and for good.
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Finally, one thing that will not change in 2017 is our commitment to offering most of our activities and programs at no cost (or minimal cost) to participants. This is possible because of YOUR generous support. Whether you give financially as a Peace Champion or a Birthday Champion or a Club Memberor Sponsor, or whether you support us with in-kind donations of space or food or printing or other resources that make our activities and events possible — YOU are an essential part of our mission, and we celebrate you, with gratitude!

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Supporting Mattie’s Foundation matters.
You can never give too soon or too late
or too little or too much.
-

CLICK HERE to share your 
your TAX DEDUCTIBLE gift.
-

We will celebrate you on our 
Peace Champions page (here…) 

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Visit our website to learn more about our Current News items, and all of our ongoing and upcoming Activities and Events.

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And we love to hear from you! Please share messages (and photos and artwork) and feedback — and let us know if we can share your thoughts on our What You Are Saying website pages.

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Thank you!

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Hope and peace to all,

Jeni (Mattie’s mom / Mama Peace)
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HeartsongBooks@gmail.com

www.MattieOnline.com 

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-

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“Peace is possible… choose peace!”

Mattie J.T. Stepanek

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STAY CONNECTED:

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn

www.MattieOnline.com

 

Return to main News page…. 

 

 

Election Reflection: On Hope, Beyond Hurt

Posted on: November 9th, 2016 by jeni No Comments

 

WE Are…
11/9 2016 and Forthward

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Please share… 

Copy & paste this link: http://www.mattieonline.com/?p=24328

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“We” as a country, as a nation, are clearly divided, and angry, and hurt, and scared, and making statements – this way or that way – about the need for change. That is evident.

 

But “WE” – the people of hope and peace and justice and inclusion and celebration of humanity – need not be divided, or dismayed, or disenfranchised, simply because folks so desperate for change somehow were able to turn a blind eye to the intolerance and a deaf ear to the bullying that were such an inherent part of the presidential campaign – and spoke louder on a given day – albeit a given day that will impact years to come.

 

The election is done. But WE are not – regardless of how we “feel” about the results.

 

WE must not lose clarity, and we must not allow ourselves to be guided by or empowered by or paralyzed by emotion – whether satisfied with the vote results,or terrified of what is to come, or wondering what difference any one person can make as we move into the future.

 

WE must be united, more than ever, and seek peace, and make peace, and bring peace – and simply BE the source of hope and peace while we move through the next four years.

 

WE can choose to respond, not react, to the results of this election.

 

WE must tell our children, and each other, it will be okay, somehow. And WE must choose to make it okay, by being role models and good neighbors, and by refusing to allow or be blind or deaf to intolerance or bullying – in word or action, in our homes and schools and work places and communities – in any moment or in any space and for any person.

 

WE must do all we can, as individuals and as families and as communities to ensure that it IS okay – not just for ourselves, but also for our neighbors – of all races and religions and realities.

 

WE must rise above fear, and anger, and discouragement, and disagreements, and actively tend to hope and peace, and people – one by one and many by many – so that with or despite the voices that happen to have the elected-power to lead, WE are the voices and attitudes and actions that move time and humanity forthward – with hope and with peace, and with kindness, and with indivisibility, and with justice for all.

 

WE must each somehow, even in the midst of a swirl of emotions, commit to “good” in attitude and action – and not become victims of emotion.

 

In his book, “Just Peace: A Message of Hope,” Mattie J.T Stepanek writes that we, the people, are a mosaic of gifts, but that mosaic is being shattered and the pieces scattered, because of choices that we – even as good people – are making. But he implores us to not lose hope, or let go of the endeavor for peace. He encourages us to gather every mosaic piece – bright or broken, old or new, large or small – and tend to each one, and rebuild the mosaic – with balanced choices. And he even gives us a choice-by-choice guide for journeying along pathways to peace – if we make this our choice.

 

It is okay to be sad, or in shock, or scared, or to have any other feelings as a result of this election. It is not okay to get stuck in feeling hopeless, or helpless. We cannot choose our feelings, but we can choose the shape of our attitudes, which unfold into words and actions.  We can process our feelings, and together, move forthward.

 

Hope and peace are not easy choices, but they are worthy choices – always, and for all people.

 

Despite the election results, and whichever side of the vote we identify with – this way or that way – we can each commit to creating the change we desperately need, without hurting others – in body or mind or spirit.

 

Hope is real. Believe it. 
Peace is possible. Be it. 
I Am. Together, We Are…

 

With prayers for our world,
Jeni (Mattie’s mom / Mama Peace).

 

Jeni Stepanek, PhD, is a Faculty Associate in Special Education at the University of Maryland, and serves as the Executive Director of the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation. 

 

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Attitude to Action –

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Peace Certified IKF Hosts First Annual Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture

Posted on: October 4th, 2016 by jeni No Comments

AU Peace Educator, Barbara Wien,
Speaks at First Annual

Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture
Hosted by Peace Certified IKF 

 

(L-R): IKF Chaplain Richard Thayer, AU Professor & event speaker Dr. Barbara Wien, Mattie’s Foundation Executive Director Dr. Jeni Stepanek, IKF Resident Bob Balkam, and Rockville Mayor Bridget Newton gather for the inaugural Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture hosted by Ingleside at King Farm — a Peace Certified retirement community in Maryland.

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IKF’s Peace Journey (so far…)

IKF Chaplain Richard Thayer and IKF resident Nancy Kaplan prepare for the 1st Annual Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture, setting up a display with one of the Rockville retirement community’s “peace quilts” and other peace crafts and activities created by the residents.

 

During the summer of 2013, residents, staff and community members gathered at Ingleside at King Farm  for a peace picnic.

 

During the celebration, ideas were gathered and shared for a peace project that would move this retirement community in Rockville, Maryland towards a new goal — “Peace Certification” by the Mattie J.T. Stepanek Foundation.

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During fall, 2013, residents took a “Peace Walk” to the nearby Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park to further explore peace — for one’s self and for one’s world.

 

And across the next year, IKF residents gathered again — to listen to Mattie’s mom, Jeni Stepanek, share information and inspiration from Mattie’s peace messages and about his namesake Foundation’s Pathways to Peace Program – and to create “Peace Quilts” for their Peace Certification project.
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But this was only the beginning of IKF’s commitment to moving from “attitude to action” with peace.

 

The peace quilt squares that make up six large wall hangings now are displayed in various areas of the IKF community, and they also travel to other communities where peace is being sought and planned.

 

In addition to the picnic, walk, quilt, and other peace gatherings, IKF residents decided to launch an annual event that would continue moving peace “forthward — with choice” as Mattie would say.

 

Barbara Wien, professor at American University’s School of International Service and global peace educator and activist, shares information and inspiration in support of Mattie’s “peace is possible” statement during the 1st Annual Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture hosted by Ingleside at King Farm, a Peace Certified retirement community in Rockville, Maryland.

On October 2, 2016, IKF residents and members of the Rockville community (including the mayor and Mattie’s moms), gathered again in this Peace Certified Community for the inaugural Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture.

 

The event speaker was Barbara Wien, a professor at American University in Washington, DC, and a well-respected global peace educator and activist.

 

During her presentation, Wien addressed (and agreed with) Mattie’s claim that “peace is possible” — sharing stories of peace journeys, and emphasizing the importance of infusing peace education programs in schools, of bringing peace information into mainstream media and news, and of creating more and more peace communities — parks and other planned areas that serve as buffers for bordering communities in potential or real conflict. Such peace places bring people together in shared responsibility, and enhances collaboration, and makes peace possible..

 

More information:
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Photo Album from the Inaugural IKF
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Peace Lecture

 

PHOTOS
Rows 1-4 by Jeni Stepanek
Rows 5-6 by IKF’s Kate Kavitski

IMG_5300 IMG_5302 IMG_5303 IMG_5304 IMG_5306 IMG_5308 IMG_5316 IMG_5318 IMG_5322 IMG_5324 IMG_5329 IMG_5331 IMG_5366 IMG_5367 IMG_5368 IMG_5369 IMG_5370 MJS Lecture4

 

 

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August Spotlight

In-Kind Support

Celebrating our "in kind" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with services and materials. Thank you ezStorage, Montgomery Printing, Parcel Plus, and Potomac Valley Brick! Read more...

Nourishment Support

Celebrating our "nourishment" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with food and services. Thank you Botanero Restaurant, Fontina Grille, Safeway, Coffee Republic, and Red Hot & Blue! Read more...

Community Support

Celebrating our "community" sponsors and advocates -- who support Mattie's Foundation with commitment and participation. Thank you City of Rockville, King Farm Citizen's Assembly, Kick's Karate & Mix 107.3! Read more...

Champion Support

Celebrating our "Foundation Champions" -- sponsors and volunteers of all ages who support Mattie's Foundation through donations, brick sponsorships, participation in our activities and events. Thank you!!! Read more...

- Mattie J.T. Stepanek