Cabaret for Life Brings Music Therapy to The Valerie Center!
Cabaret for Life supports the Valerie Center at Monmouth Medical, a facility that’s “all about children”! This month the Valerie Center has begun using funds from CFL to initiate a three-day-a-week music-therapy program at its Long Branch location. CFL board member Karin May was able to chat with Susan Dulcvak, the Clinical Director of the Valerie Center, who has been in her position for ten years. Susan says that “The Center is very grateful for this highly anticipated addition to their program, and they are looking forward to adding a new art-therapy program in the fall.”
A visit to the Valerie Center makes it clear that children are the focus — animal art on the walls, cheery smiling kids photographs everywhere, three playrooms for children and a separate area for teenagers. The Valerie Center assists patients from infants to 30 years of age, not only providing state-of-the-art treatment for blood disorders but also engaging their young people in various activities. Patients can participate in games, storytelling, music, videos, as well as pet therapy.
The Valerie Center at Monmouth Medical is one of seven facilities in New Jersey that are funded by the Valerie Fund, which was established in 1970 to honor its benefactor Valerie Goldstein, a cancer patient. The Valerie Fund’s mission is to provide close-to-home treatment for children suffering from all kinds of blood disorders including blood cancer in a positive, welcoming outpatient setting. The Valerie Center maintains consistent treatment protocol to achieve best results, even retaining the treatment utilized by patients transferring to and from other facilities. With a staff of twelve, the Center can attend to ten to twelve children each day, with an average 1,400 visits per year. There are also about eight young volunteers who work in the kids’ care program and who assist in playroom activities.
The main fundraising event for the Valerie Center occurs in the fall at Yumi Restaurant in Sea Bright. They anticipate well over 100 patrons to support the event (and to enjoy the best sushi in Monmouth County!). The Center anticipates many changes and improvement in the coming two years, including the renovation and restructuring of the interior space of the facility. There’s no doubt however that the cheery feeling of the Valerie Center will stay intact!