Peace Gathering — FREE
July 4 — from 5-7 pm
Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park
(Peace Garden area) 


Followed by the
City of Rockville’s

Fireworks Celebration
from 7-9:30 pm
(also in Mattie’s Park) 


We had two amazing photographers, an incredible videographer,
and Maryland Public Television, all capturing the essence of the
2015 Peace Gathering. Please enjoy the links below.

to read a message from Mattie’s mom, and
to view our Peace Gathering event albums


Join us for cake and conversation
in the Peace Garden area from 5-7 pm


Stay for the City’s Fireworks Celebration
in Mattie’s Park from 7-10 pm

The City of Rockville is the FIRST CITY in the USA
to declare Mattie’s birthday as a PEACE DAY —
encouraging citizens to reflect on personal choices for peace.
Mattie’s Foundation is proud to be working on
an event and celebration alongside this City, whose
leaders have supported Mattie’s Foundation for 10 years! 




“2015 Peace Gathering” in Mattie’s Park

Sponsors & Volunteers

If you would like to add your name as a volunteer or sponsor,

please e-mail 

Sponsors & Supporters

  • Financial Sponsors
    — seeking an event sponsor — 
  • Tent, Tables, & Chairs
    The City of Rockville, Maryland
    Printing & Publicity
    Montgomery Printing (Rockville)
    Parcel Plus (King Farm)
    Washington Parent Magazine
  • Mosaic of Gift Bricks Installation
    Potomac Valley Brick & Supply
  • Cake, Water, & Balloons
    Safeway (King Farm)
  • Music Station Canopy
    King Farm Screamin’ Geese Swim Team 

Distinguished Guests

  • Bridget Newton – Mayor, City of Rockville
    Rockville is the first US city to declare
     “Peace Day” for its citizens on Mattie’s birthday
  • Beryl Feinberg – Rockville City Council Member
  • Virginia Onley – Rockville City Council Member 
  • Louise Atkins – Rockville Council Support Specialist
  • Colleen McQuitty – Rockville Special Events Manager
  • Kathleen Matthews – Public Affairs & Congressional Candidate
  • Bob Balkam – Founding Member, Mattie’s Foundation
    & member of Ingleside at King Farm, a Peace Certified Community

Music & Heartsongs

  • Featured Artist
    Jan Seiden
    Native American wooden flute
    “Immediately captivating, Jan’s soulful eloquence and exceptional technique transport listeners to a healing, inner tranquil state. Ms. Seiden’s music carries messages of global unity, peace and personal empowerment to federal agencies and to international humanitarian conferences and indigenous gatherings throughout the U.S. and Canada.
    Ms. Seiden has appeared on CNN Headline News / Comcast and on Maryland Public TV for her healing work with the flute. Nominated for the 2009 Native American Music Award (NAMA), 2-time nominee for the Indian Summer Music Awards, she was a 2006 recipient of an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and 2005 recipient of a grant from National Endowment for the Arts and the Washington, DC Arts Initiative.”
    –> learn more about Jan Seiden here…<–)
  • Intergenerational Musicians & Heartsongs
  • Leon, Ayana, & Qwomell  Coe (teens)
    — poetry & Heartsongs (Maryland)
    Leon, Ayana, & Qwomell began volunteering for us in 2014
  • Kaylee Dobbins (age 12) — trumpet (Maryland)
    Kaylee has been a Peace Club Youth member since 2011
  • Huneven Music Studio — youth violin students (Maryland)
    (–> learn more about Dorée Hunan here…<–)
    Huneven Music Studio is a Peace Certified Community
  • Jacob Jones (age 13) — bells (Pennsylvania)
    Jacob has been a Peace Club Youth member since 2011
  • Barry McConatha & Laura Bauer — guitar/songs (Georgia)
    Gary is a new friend of Mattie’s Foundation!

Peace Guides & Peace Crew

  • Peace Guides — #Change4Peace
    Mattie’s Foundation Board of Directors
     — Jamie Baker, Laura Bauer, Cynthia Dobbins, Rich Gottfried,
    Max Jones, Joe Palermino, Cynda Rushton, Jeni Stepanek
    We Are Family Foundation Global Teen Leaders
     Sayid Abdullaev (GTL’08 – Kyrgyzstan & USA), 
    Max Jones (GTL’14 – Canada & USA)
    Foundation Peace Volunteers
     —Tommy Baker (Maryland)
     —Chris, Kaylee, & Leah Dobbins (Maryland)
     —Heather Dobbins (Maryland)
    Maureen Freeman (Maryland)

     —Greg, Jane, Nathan,
    ——-Jacob, Sammy & Bella Jones (Pennsylvania)

     —Reagan Leibovitz-Smith (Peace Club Teen, Maryland)
     —Barry McConatha (Georgia)
     —Tilsim & Don Newman (Maryland)
     —Curt Smith (Maryland)
    Jesse Tang (Maryland)
     —Alanna Vella (Maryland)
  • ASL Interpreter
    Seeking a volunteer… 
  • Videography
    Shelly Gross (Maryland)
  • Photography
    Maureen Freeman (Maryland)
    Tom Robertson (Montreal, Canada) 
  • Peace Crew — Set-up & Clean-up (& pre-event tasks)
    Maureen Freeman (Maryland)
    The Jones Family (Pennsylvania)
    Barry McConatha (Georgia)
    Tim McLuckie (Maryland)
    Don & Tilsim Newman (MDA friends – Maryland)
    Joey Palermino (Maryland)
    The Poe Family (MDA friends – Maryland)
    Tom Robertson (Canada)
    Curt & Andrea Smith (Maryland)
    Alanna Vella (Maryland)
    — And…
    Mattie’s Foundation Board of Directors
    The Step’obbi’comb’ake’r’oss Fam’ (Mattie’s kin)


Peace Gathering
Program Agenda



If you would like to add your name as a volunteer or sponsor,
please e-mail 



2015 Peace Gathering Photo Albums
are being posted at the top of this page.





  • “Musicians” of All Age
    — (arrive at park at least 15 min before scheduled)

    We are inviting children and adults (and families and groups) to “share their talents” (like Mattie shared poetry) and Heartsongs by adding some music to the event! If you or your child/family would like to share a song (or two or three — voice and/or instrument) — please let us know. We will be creating an event line-up once we have all of our “musicians of all ages” organized. Each musician will receive a peace poster and Peace Activity Certificate from Mattie’s Foundation.
  • “Peace Guides” (ages 12 and up) 
     (arrive at park by 4:30 pm)

    Mattie’s Foundation will need a few “Peace Guide” volunteers for the event. These are folks who will help us with either a simple activity, or with engaging others in “peace conversation.” We will offer you  “talking points” from Mattie’s peace message — you just need to help keep conversations going.  Each Peace Guide will receive a peace poster and Peace Activity Certificate from Mattie’s Foundation.
    NOTE — We are still looking for a volunteer to serve as an ASL interpreter.
  • “Peace Crew” 
     (arrive at park by 3:30 pm)

    Mattie’s Foundation will need a few folks to help with set-up and clean-up. Great chance for a family to work together for peace! Set-up will be 4:15-5 pm. Clean up will take place 6:45-7:30 pm.  Each Peace Volunteer will receive a peace poster and Peace Activity Certificate from Mattie’s Foundation.


  • While we welcome all help on the day of the event, you must send an e-mail and be a registered volunteer to receive a peace poster.
  • Please e-mail for more information and to sign up for a volunteer role.

    (see the growing list of supporters below…)



Don’t forget… 


Mattie’s 25th
Birthday Campaign

Most of the peace programs and activities
created by Mattie’s Foundation are offered
to global citizens of all ages
We rely on your generous donations
to make this possible.

Mattie’s Birthday Campaign is
our annual fundraising drive.
Please consider celebrating his
25th birthday with a gift of $25 (or more).
You will be celebrated on our
Peace Champions page (here…)
and on our
2015 Birthday Champions page (here…)
Those who give more than $25 may
share a message to be posted!

Just click here to support
Mattie’s 25th Birthday Campaign…






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