Adults with autism group holds fundraiser

Life With Joy celebrates past, looks to future

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • Debbie Genoese, Jeremy Genoese, Kate Kamerza and Teri Dobies from Katie's House attend Life with Joy Spring Fundraiser. Photos by Rose Sgarlato

  • Founders Susan and Gray Kolb with honoree "Mentor of the Year" Evelyn Pareti Dudziec, Founder of Katie's House.

  • Cheese & Charcuterie donated by Nina and Jonathan White, owners of Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse.

  • Marafanyi Drum Dance and Song perform at Life with Joy Spring Fundraiser, April 19 at Perona Farms.

  • Susan Hearn, Melissa Stevens and Tyler Hearn supporting Life with Joy Inc.

  • Gary Kolb with friends and family.

By Rose Sgarlato

— Celebrating "how far they have come and how far they still have to go," the community of Life With Joy Inc. held a Spring 2018 Fundraiser last Thursday, April 19 at Perona Farms.

Since 2015, the Andover non-profit organization, Life With Joy Inc., has been on a mission to create safe housing, inclusive programs, vocational and social skills for adults with autism over the age of 21. Traditionally, they are “aged” out of the system with little access to supported programs.

Founders Susan and Gary Kolb created Life With Joy based on their autistic 25-year-old son Arthur. The family’s experience has propelled them to “create a model that will protect, not isolate, loved ones and teach them independence.”

“We want to teach greater concentration, more self-control and most importantly, the tools so our loved ones can work and hold real jobs in the Farm to Table industry,” said Susan Kolb.

Over 100 people attended the Spring Fundraiser and enjoyed a tasting menu including: world famous smoked salmon donated by Kirk Avondoglio of Perona Farms and cheeses donated by Nina and Jonathan White of Bobolink Dairy and Bakehouse.

“The menu included everything from Wagyu Roast beef to Roast Duck to homemade raviolis and mascarpone cheesecake and fruit tarts prepared and cooked in the Perona Farms kitchen by Life With Joy Caterers and Chef Kirk Avondoglio. We are grateful to Kirk and his talented staff at Perona Farms,” said Susan Kolb.

Most importantly for the Life With Joy family was to thank the community and long-time supporters in a special awards ceremony honoring Evelyn Dudziec of Katie's House as Mentor of the Year and Lynn McEntee of Community Access Unlimited as Support Coordinator of the Year.

Life With Joy Inc. is grateful to the following for donating their time and services:

• A Spring Fashion Show by Lynn Cohen, owner of Interplay Couture, Sparta

• Drum and Dance performance by Marafanyi Drum, Dance and Song

• Jazz by Victor Burks Music

• DJ Gary Cee of IHEART MEDIA broadcast live from the event

• Kohl's Cares Volunteers who helped with setup and handled the doors and ticket sales

"And grateful thanks to Kirk Avondoglio for donating his Barn and his kitchen and volunteering his amazing waiter, cook and bar staff during the event. The event was a great success in communicating the mission of Life With Joy Inc as a new non-profit living and learning center for young adults with disabilities especially Autism in Sussex County,” added Susan Kolb.

For more information or to donate call 201-341-0436 or visit <URL destination=" ">

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Dentistry Expert Dr. Jonice Thompson Withanachchi: Does nutrition have any relation to oral health at all?
Yes it does! What you feed your body also affects the oral cavity; after all, your mouth is part of your body! The food you eat may contain vitamins and minerals, or important...
Read more »


Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



Find more about Weather in Andover, NJ