Thank You notes abounded after both our spring and fall Special Parent’s Day Out Events, here are just a few:

“Thank you for having our family as your guests. That was the first time I’d had a date night with my husband in over 12 years. Again thank you!” Mary

“My husband and I thank you and your church for a wonderful gift…your gift of compassion. It is not the dinner but the thought that you would pull a big event such as this to make people happy is beyond my imagination. After 21 years of caring for an autistic child, I have a renewed faith in the goodness in people.  All of you did a beautiful job, so patient, so happy, there is a world like this out there….Thank the Lord.”  Mario & Tina

“THANK YOU! What an AMAZING event you put together!  I couldn’t believe all the fun you provided for the children & even a hot air balloon!!  The volunteers for my son were the Hart sisters-I think it was Julia.  They were wonderful with my son!  I can’t remember the last time my husband and I went out to dinner alone!  What a generous gift card.  Thank you for all your dedication and time to put together an awesome event.  We truly appreciated the whole night.”  Bill and Patty

“A very special thank you to everyone.  My husband and I were exhausted, both physically and emotionally, by the time this event rolled around.  We dropped off the kids with you and went out for a real grownup meal: such a treat.  As you know, this is no easy task and we really, really needed the time together.  When we returned to the church, we felt refreshed and ready to take on the world again.  Thank you for making the world stop for 4 hours so we could gather our thoughts and enjoy each other’s company while the kids were safe and having a blast.  This event felt like a longer get-away than it was: both for us and for the children.  Everyone needed the break.  On Sunday, we read the couples book that was in the goodie bag and will strive to do better than we already do in caring for each other.  God Bless.  Sincerely, Lynne and Sean

“Thank you so much! My children thoroughly enjoyed this amazing event, and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and time to reconnect.” Susan L.

“Thank you for sending this and 1000 thanks for all you do to make this happen.  This was our third time and each time it gets better and better! Our volunteers (Bob and Darcy Hughes and their kids) were AMAZING! Tyler has been raving about his “new friends “and all his adventures ever since Saturday night.    I cannot thank all of you enough for taking care of every little detail and ensuring a good time by all!  Nobody can believe that Tyler rode in a hot air balloon!  Thank you for continuing to make so many people’s dreams come true!” Alison

“My wife and I would just like to extend our overwhelming gratitude to you for all the work you did to arrange the parents night out. To call it a success for my family would not do it justice. We enjoyed dinner out immensely. But more than anything our girls, Alexis and Angelina had a great time. The counselors were fantastic! Olivia, Kaira and Trey were the best ever. Once again our very very best thanks to you and your team!”  PJ and Yvette

“We were all 3 so blessed to be part of this amazing event. Erik had such a wonderful time with his new friends, Drew, Justin and Erica, plus so many others who came and talked with him, making him feel so loved and INCLUDED.  We are so thankful for the joy this brought to Erik and are so filled with gratitude to each and every one who took part in making this amazing event possible again. I know we who are the receivers cannot come close to fathoming how much effort is behind this event. But, I know the gratitude and happiness that my husband and I feel from being blessed by this event is beyond words. We discovered this last year and participate in both dates. SPNO 2014 & 2015 and SPNO 2014 had been our only time out alone in at least 6 years (with one exception).  That IS how hard it is to find capable & willing help and we would never be able to go to experience such wonderful eating establishments without the extremely generous gift certificates.   We are so thrilled to have been blessed by this time & so thrilled Erik was blessed as well with such love and compassion and friendship. You are all truly the hands and feet of Christ.” Lisa

“Wow!  What an amazing night.  From the drive in with the welcoming balloons to all of the fabulous activities for the children, amazing!  My daughter had a wonderful time and so did my husband and myself at dinner.  Thank you so much for such a special night for all!” Daryl

“We had a blast.  Thank you and the sponsors, but even more, the volunteers. Looks like the kids smiles were just as happy as the parents! We don’t have any nearby relatives to watch our son, so these are national holidays for us! Thanks a billion.” Paul

“On behalf of my husband and myself, I would like to thank you and your organization for allowing us to attend your recent Special Parents Night with our Grandson. It was a beautiful party for the children with so many locations to have fun.  Our Grandson especially loved the bouncy castle, the pony rides and the firemen showing them how the hoses work.  We loved having a quiet time to have a lovely dinner and a moment to relax.  The volunteers are wonderful with the children and have so much enthusiasm for their roles there.  We really are thankful to be included in this special group of people.  Your work is greatly appreciated. Thank you again for the wonderful night for all of us.”  John and Jean

“To all of you who made this wonderful event possible…THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!
I do not think my husband, Karl, and I went on a date since last May when we attended the SPNO event. It is such a wonderful event and so kind. You go above and beyond our expectations every year!  God bless you for your service.” Karl and Maria

“Thank you!  My children look forward to your events so much and this year couldn’t wait for us to leave them so they could begin their evening!  The pictures made me cry… such beautiful people, volunteers and children alike.  God Bless You and all the wonderful people who put this event together.  A definite highlight of our year!” Allison

“Thank you for your generosity.  Parents and children both have a very special night with everlasting memories. God bless.” Susan

“I just want to thank you and the Church of the Hills for hosting the Special Parents Night Out event. This was our first time at this event and it was wonderful. My kids had a fantastic time. My husband and I also enjoyed a great dinner (although, it felt strange without the kids… LOL).  Our volunteers: Heather Woods and Hannah Mehl were excellent with the kids. My youngest, Joshua is very shy and normally does not talk to anyone he doesn’t know; surprising he was speaking with Hannah.” Many thanks, Lillian

“THANK YOU SO MUCH for allowing my children to have a fantastic day! They loved it.. May God continue to bless you and everyone that helps out for this event!”  Rosa

“Thank you for giving us the wonderful opportunity! And a special thank you for pairing up Garrett with Mike, his smile was priceless, he was thrilled!  We will definitely be back in the fall.”  Christina

“We are very grateful for everything especially to all volunteers patiently entertaining our kids. Thank you so much!”  Arlene

“Hi, Steve, Denise and team.  When we arrived we were all delighted by the range of activities we could see! My son likes to go by the name of Fireman Max, he is THAT obsessed with fire trucks, so you can imagine how thrilled he was to see the fire truck. Both my kids had a wonderful evening and even though Max got a little homesick toward the end, in the car ride he asked when he could go back!  It is such a treat to have a night like this, and it was all so well organized. And the volunteers couldn’t have been nicer. Thank you so much again.”  Ellen and Dave

“Thanks so much.  It was a wonderful evening for everyone.” Jane

“Thank YOU so much.  My kids had a blast.  My son kept asking to go back to the church to see his volunteer Gracie.  And the only time my husband and I ever have gone out together alone (in New Jersey) since Kai was born has been this past Saturday and the parents night out in fall that you had last year.  I can’t tell you how much we appreciate all you do.  I know it was a lot of work on so many people’s parts, and my children’s chaperones volunteers were so kind and loving.”  Leigh

“Thank you!  This was a wonderful event!  My son enjoyed himself and we had an amazing volunteer taking care of him and my husband and I enjoyed a rare date night!!”  Liz

“Hello Steve and Denise, I absolutely want to take this time to say how much I personally appreciated and feel completely humbled that my son Justin and I could once again be child volunteers and a part of the event on the 16th. It was truly a great blessing and although, I admit I wasn’t sure how I would hold up physically. I’m so glad God answered my prayers, and gave me exactly what I needed to fulfill the need. I remain very grateful for the experience and I know that my son did too. The atmosphere you and Denise have been assigned by the Lord to bring forth continues to be accomplished at every event.”  Olga and Justin

“What an amazing gift you gave to parents and children at “Special Parent’s Afternoon Out” last Saturday! I am overcome with emotion as I look at all of the pictures from that day. My children, Patrick and Thomas, had such a wonderful time while my husband and I enjoyed a very rare lunch date. Thank you for planning such a truly incredible event.  While we continue to be amazed by the magic the day holds for both parents and children, you also gave us the greatest gift of all: the renewal of our faith in mankind and the goodness in the hearts of perfect strangers. Your mission to recognize the challenges of families with special needs and honor us in this way is a tribute beyond measure. Thank you for the tremendous outpouring of love and the memories that will forever fill our hearts and souls.  May God Bless you.”  Sincerely,  Kathleen, Mike, Patrick and Thomas

“We cannot put into words how much we appreciated everything that was done for all of us.  The kids had such a great time.  They talked about it for days. They loved the pony rides and playing with the animals.  Alexandra and Chloe were so nice to our children.  We rarely have the opportunity to go out on a date and feel comfortable that our children are being cared for. We were able to have our 8th wedding anniversary lunch that day.  Thank you so much for everything!” Irene & Pete

“Thank you for an amazing afternoon for both us and the kids….this was the first time we left our daughter with others and really appreciate all of the hard work that made this so successful.  Thank you!” Naomi

“THANK YOU SO MUCH!!   My boys always look forward to attending. May God continue to bless us with wonderful people as yourselves”. Rosa

“Thank you for again hosting this event.  My boys had a wonderful time.  The painting and the bunnies were a big hit!  The volunteers (the whole group) were so kind and attentive.  The boys loved spending the afternoon with them.  I really appreciated the photo gift to remember the day. Love & light”, Cheryl

“Thank you so much for this wonderful event!  As always, we had a great time, and it was so nice out that our restaurant still had outside seating!  I remember you saying a couple years ago that the sun always seems to come out for this event, even when bad weather is expected-and you were right!  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”  Sue and Brad

“Thank you so much for having us come to the program. Language can’t express our thanks for the wonderful people who devoted their time, love and care for our kid. You wonderful people truly express the love of God to the community. I told my son, Joshua, that these people love God so much and they show people the love of God. Joshua had such a great time; he already asked when he could come again. Once again, thank you so much.”  Kwan

Saturday was spectacular—way beyond anything we could have expected.  Thank you so much!!! “ Doris, Phil and Shery

“Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for allowing us the opportunity to have a nice “date”.  we sooo appreciate what you do. Fondly”, Kim and Chuck

“My family and I are extremely grateful to you, your family and the wonderful community of the Church of Far Hills for arranging a spectacular afternoon for parents of children with special needs. Our kids had a great time and my husband and I got to have some time to ourselves while we enjoyed a delicious lunch at one of the wonderful restaurants nearby. We look forward to the event in spring!”  Alka

“Hello. I just had to write to tell you how overwhelmed I feel at the kindness and generosity of all the people involved with the “Special Parents Night Out” event held this past Saturday evening. This was the first time my husband and I attended. We were able to go out with a couple whom we met from our sons being at Allegro when they were just 5 years old. My son is now 15 years old. I never go out with my husband. To be honest after working 40 hours a week and then running my 3 children to their various activities on the weekend, we are lucky to stay awake to watch a movie at night!  All 3 children really had a great time as did my husband and I. I just wanted to thank you and make a point of thanking Ms. Marilyn L. who was assigned to my Shane for her kindness as well. My 10 year old, Isabella, is so cute, she came home and already knows that there is supposed to be another event in the summer I think with ducks and she wants to go, ha!  I looked around and saw all the children having so much fun and that gave me the most joy of the evening. Thank you again for providing this wonderful night for my whole family.”  Donna Marie V.

“Good afternoon, Peter really enjoyed this! My husband & I appreciated the dinner out so much! Thank you!” Marianne S.


“Thank you so much for a wonderful event and a wonderful chance to get out… I am amazed at your ability to help others and think of others.  What an amazing group of people.  Karen P took such good care of my autistic son. I could tell her heart was into it when I looked back (nervous about leaving my son, Frank ) and she was eye level with him talking to him about the hay ride they were about to take.  I was honestly shocked to find out you also provided us with a large gift card to the restaurant we chose.  I had no idea that was part of the night out at all and I was moved to tears with gratefulness for your generosity.  All I can say is thank you, thank you, thank you!  I do not trust many people with my kids! We do not really have babysitters because they can be very hard to manage and understand.  Thank you for helping me to grow a bit to trust someone else and reap the major rewards with a great evening out. Thank you over and over.” Christine

“Yet ANOTHER blessed family event!  Thank you SO MUCH!  We feel so special, and lucky.  The kids LOVE this event and my husband and I thought the parishioners were SO welcoming.  We got to be treated to a dinner where no one was whining, we weren’t being stared at by others and I didn’t get indigestion! Thank you, thank you, thank you!” Vicki

“Doug and I cannot thank you enough for last evening.  Our children had an absolute ball! The amount of effort that went into planning such a large-scale, fun-filled event was incredible. Your organization was so impressive and the vast array of activities was staggering! From the pony rides, to the face painting, to the flower pot painting, the movie on a big screen (our girls’ first!), and someone else giving them dinner they actually ate.   When we returned from dinner, we watched our 3 year old daughters gazing up at their volunteer with admiration and pure joy. Caroline said, “Mommy, can Alana come to church with us tomorrow?” We couldn’t have been happier to have Maggie R. and her lovely daughter, Alana, as our children’s helpers for the evening. We could tell they were immediately comfortable with them and that they felt safe and loved in their care. Maggie struck the perfect balance of being intuitively comfortable with yet diligently responsible about Jack’s medical needs and care. We were so thankful for how easy it was to explain his needs to her and feel confident leaving him in her care. Doug and I had a fabulous dinner at The Gladstone Tavern – what a fantastic restaurant! It was much needed time to connect and have fun alone together. We are so grateful not only for the incredibly memorable night you provided our children with, but for the gift card to the restaurant as well. We are still in awe of all that you did for us and are very much looking forward to participating in your next event. We’d also like to volunteer as helpers on the “other side” some year too! We often say how blessed we are to have experiences and meet people we never would have had was it not for our son, Jack. Thank you for this giving us this experience and introducing us to these people last night.  Gratefully yours.”  Katie and Doug H

“Thank you so much for a wonderful Saturday.  Michael and I had a great time out and the boys enjoyed themselves so much.  Thank you for taking the time to help others.  I know what it takes to set something like this up and it’s much appreciated.” Debbie

“I can’t thank you enough for this wonderful event.  Our children had a wonderful time, and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves knowing that they were in good hands.  We had an amazing lunch at the Gladstone Inn and I’m still thinking about how good my lunch was!  When we returned, the volunteers who looked after our boys seemed so happy to have spent time with them, and told us all about the fun afternoon they had.  That meant a lot to us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a wonderful afternoon.”  Sue

“Thank you soooo much for blessing our whole family with a beautiful day! We all had an amazing day and we are so grateful for you and your church! Thanks again!” Kim

“Thank you so much for running this event.  It was a wonderful, memorable day for all of us.  It is hard to take autistic kids to large gatherings, but some how your event works for my son.  He had an absolutely fabulous time.  His sister loved it, too.  She really loved holding Marshmallow the bunny.  I can’t thank you enough.  What a fabulous experience for all of us!  All the best,” Margaret

“My children and I want to thank you for a great day. The kids enjoyed themselves immensely, John and Alexandria were very good to Jordan and Ashley and they kept talking about it. I had a great time at the Gladstone Tavern, the food was delicious and I got to relax.  It was a great day and we all appreciate it!”  Tracy

“Our heartfelt thanks to you and all of the people who made today’s Special Parents Afternoon Out such a success. A special thanks Michelle G. and Daniel, the volunteers who looked after our boys!   It is rare that families of special needs children have the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves. Our children were happy, well-supervised, and had a great afternoon. And my husband and I were able to enjoy a lunch date. We can’t remember the last time we were able to do that!   Thank you again for the thoughtfulness and generosity. We truly appreciate it.” Cassandra

“Thank you so much for running your Special Needs Afternoon.  The kids really enjoyed it.  It was such a positive experience for them.  We loved having a quiet lunch – a rare treat!  Many thanks!” Margaret

“Thanks again so much for the parent’s afternoon out. My daughter had an awesome time, so did my husband and I”, Liz

“A big thank you to you and all the people who organized the Oct. 23 “special” afternoon.  We all had a great time.  Our son, Adam, was matched with Bruna Barion and she was excellent.  After being introduced, I felt comfortable leaving him with her.  They bonded right away.  He is non-verbal, yet she understood him.  Adam was so excited, when he originally brought home the flyer from school, he couldn’t wait to show it to me and told me he is going.  He looked forward to the day for many weeks. On Sat. morning he woke up at 2:30 a.m. and was ready to go.  Many, many, thanks to everyone.  You are all very special to do this for parents of special needs children.”  Halina

“Thank you so much for organizing this event.  My sons had a great time with John and Alex Kaiser.  They were wonderful and my older son couldn’t stop talking about how much fun he had.   We loved the Gladstone Tavern for dinner.  We had such a great time and we are so appreciative of this event and the effort that went into it.  Thanks again for making a special and memorable night for our family.  It is so rare we can go out to dinner” Karen and Paul

“We had a night out, and my son had a terrific time at the church with all the activities (and food!)….. So very generous and an appreciated evening!” Sheila

“I cannot thank you enough for last night – what a wonderful event – for everyone!  I didn’t know what to expect, as it was my first experience like this, but all I can say is that I cannot think of a more wonderful group of people!  Jack and Grace had an amazing time – from the animals to the jump house to the food and caring volunteers – nothing was overlooked!  The dinner was one of the most wonderful, relaxing experiences I have had in quite a while!  And what made it even better was knowing that the kids were in great hands and having fun.” Lisa

“Just wanted to thank you so much for the “Parent’s night out” last Saturday. I thank God for wonderful, caring people like you and the others at your church.”  God Bless Liz

“My husband and I have not been out alone for dinner – probably for 8 years.  We had a wonderful time. Please know that all your efforts had given us and all the special needs parents and families a priceless gift, the gift of support and love. We thank you.”  Sincerely Louis and Susan

“Please send a BIG THANK YOU TO WHO EVER DID THIS…God Bless you and all the people involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If there were more people like yourself and the people who are responsible, what a wonderful world it would be.” Best Regards Love Laurie

You Care About People

You care about people
and it shows.
You are generous with your time,
giving of your energy,
lavish with your unselfish deeds.
I will remember your kindness to me.
Thank you for brightening my world
with your thoughtfulness.
It really meant a lot.

By Joanna Fuchs

“Thank you so very much for allowing us to be part of such a very special event, it really means a lot to us.  It is such a great feeling to see the look of happiness on Isabelle’s face…she really enjoys the time she spends with you and all the volunteers.  This event to me means so much more than a day/night out, what I really love is the opportunity it gives Isabelle to do activities which at times are difficult for her to do because of her health (pony rides, hay rides, petting zoo etc.)…every time I watch the videos from the events, they fill my heart with joy.  Thank you once again for such a magical day….we look forward to seeing you all again. God Bless you and all the volunteers.” Virginia C.

“Thank you for allowing our family to participate in the wonderful event.  My children had a great time and my husband and I got to enjoy some quality time alone.  We are very appreciative and thankful.  God bless you and all the volunteers who make this event possible.” Zsolt and Nora R.