September 28, 2012
DATE: August 7, 2012
CONTACT: Dr. Roxanne Debski- Seigel
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Offices in Newton & Phillipsburg, NJ & Milford PA.
TOLL FREE: 800-882-1117
PHOTO: Diana Sebzda, Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement Center Director explains to the attendees of the Biggs Kids Foundation Golf Outing held Monday, August 6th at the Lake Mohawk Golf Club how grieving children are helped with their art programs. The Bereavement center, located at 61 Spring St, Newton holds children’s grief art programs for any child who is suffering grief through the death of a loved one. Classes are held in the Spring and Fall. Call 973-940-0413 for registration details.
Sparta NJ – August 6 – Steve Bieganousky of Sparta, who lost his only child, is no stranger to the pain of grief. His son Steven at the age of 21 died suddenly in a car accident on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005. ‘A fun-loving and spirited individual, he always enjoyed making people laugh.’ Young Steven strongly believed in standing up for those who could not stand up for themselves, particularly children. To continue Steven’s devotion to helping children, the family founded The Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children, also known as BIGGS’ Kids. The foundation is dedicated to raising funds to benefit less fortunate children and monies are distributed to organizations providing physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of suffering children.
Upon hearing of the work the Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement Center, especially the children’s art program, Steve wanted to learn more. “I found my professional niche in the world of graphic design and have enjoyed much success, so the children’s grief art program did get my attention.” Bieganousky started his Sparta graphic design company, the SRD Group in 1984, which primarily creates consumer packaging for many Fortune 500 companies and brand directors. “Art is in my blood” he continued, and growing up he was fortunate enough to have discovered his path early and went on to earn an art degree from the University of Bridgeport, CT.
The Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement Center is an affiliate of the Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation and Hospice, but is open to the community for anyone who is in need of grief support. It is sustained primarily through small grants, donations, the community and the generosity of a foundation such as Biggs Kids. “When a family member is lost though death, children are often the “forgotten” grievers as adult family members are busy picking up the pieces and often don’t understand how children process grief” Diana Sebzda, Director of the Joseph T. Quinlan Center explained to the audience. The Children’s grief art program is unique to the area with Sebzda and her skilled team of counselors constantly developing innovative and playful means to reach children suffering from the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling or any loved one. Many different methods and themes are used to encourage children to unveil their emotions.
Sebzda described a themed board, ‘It’s a Jungle out there’ which let children pick a jungle animal that most describes how they are feeling about the loss of their loved one, while in another room, the parent is asked to do the same. “Parents are amazed to see that their child has expressed their pain very differently from the jungle animal the parent chose.”
Another recent theme was The Seashore and the Waves of Grief where the children were asked to write down one of the many coping strategies they learned in the program that would be helpful to someone else who has lost a loved one and put it in a bottle (message in a bottle) and offer it to that person when the time was right. Sebzda also shared with the audience one case where the children were asked to draw their body outlines and then with the use of colors, draw in where they were experiencing feelings. “One little boy colored in his stomach area with a big blob of red scribbles with blue colors going towards his neck area”. Sebzda continued that because his parent had already made her aware that he was having stomach aches and gagging reflexes after the loss of his loved one, the drawing clearly defined how is grief was manifesting itself. He had stomach pains and felt as though he was choking…from there the counselors were able assist him with coping skills.
When Steve toured the center last month, Diana pointed out how parents have expressed their grief over the loss of a child. Hanging on one of the walls was artwork of a rose, on another a poem. Both of these pieces represented two different avenues the grieving parent acquired to demonstrate their love for their lost child. “Grief and tragedy changes people, and it all depends what you do with it.” Steve pointed out. “I can see now how art has a place in the world of grief.”
The Steven P. Bieganousky Foundation for Children, Inc. 1A Main Street, Suite 2, Sparta, NJ 07871 , 972-222-5948. www.spbfoundation.org holds its annual golf outing every August at the Lake Mohawk Golf Club in Sparta.
“In the future I would like to expand the foundation and include various events during the year to raise funds to help causes such as the Bereavement Center.” Steve noted. The foundation has also supported Ginny’s House and Project Self Sufficiency in Sussex County and has given out $60,000.00 over the span of the foundation.
The Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement Center offers individual grief counseling and monthly support groups in Newton and Hackettstown, NJ and Milford and Lord’s Valley, PA. To learn more about the Center visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org or call 800-882-1117; the Bereavement Center in Newton (973) 940-0413; Hackettstown (908) 852-8730 or the Milford Hospice, PA (570) 296-3591.
The Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation is passionately dedicated to providing Hospice care for the terminally ill, Bereavement for those who have lost loved ones and Home Care assistance for recovery patients. Serving Northwest NJ and Northeast PA; please call 800 882 1117 to reach any of our services. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 99 Sparta Ave., Newton, NJ, Karen Ann Quinlan Home Health Care, 755 Memorial Parkway, Phillipsburg, NJ and Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, 104 Bennett Ave., Milford, PA. The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Centers, 61 Spring St., Newton NJ and 214 Washington St., Hackettstown, NJ. For programs, events, support groups and more information visit www.karenannquinlanhospice.org.