'Aged-out' autistic people offered Life with Joy

Green Life Market hosts fundraiser for the group


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Photos



  • From left, bottom row: Susan Kolb, Joel Wise, Gary Kolb, Second row: Bernadette Wise, Arthur Kolb, Top Row: Harrison Wise Photos courtesy of Life with Joy




  • From left, Bridget Smith of Life With Joy Inc. and Brittany Dow of Green Farms Market




  • Marafanyi Drum, Dance and Song - Lara Gonzalez, Yael Shacham and Lisa Gonzalez




  • Performance by Victor Burks - Victor Burks Music




  • The Greenhouse at fundraiser sponsor Green Life Market




By Rose Sgarlato

— Life with Joy held a fundraiser on Oct.14 at Green Life Market on Newton Sparta Road.

The non-profit organization, Life with Joy Inc, founded by Susan and Gary Kolb in 2014 has a simple mission statement: “Giving young adults with autism the right to dream, find happiness and live as independently as possible in a safe, educational and nurturing environment.”

The Kolbs were inspired by their 24 year-old son Arthur who is autistic and was “ aged out of the system at 21,” according to his mother. Including Arthur, there are as many as three other residents that stay with the Kolbs in their residence which is the headquarters of Life with Joy Inc.

“We want to raise awareness that there is a place here in Sussex County for young autistic adults when they graduate at 21, where they can come and keep learning and get the skills they need to follow their dreams,” Susan Kolb said.

Life with Joy works closely with the state Department of Developmental Disabilities. Yoga and mixed martial arts are just a few of the activities that are enjoyed by their guests.

Green Life Market hosted the event last Saturday afternoon that featured live music in the store’s greenhouse from Maratanyi Drum Dance Song and Victor Burks. Healthy snacks and drinks were also served.

“We align with Green Life Market in sharing the idea of healthy eating and how important it is, especially for our population,” Susan Kolb said.

Kolb added that the event was successful and people danced and had plenty of room to socialize. She is grateful to Green Life for hosting and also her husband:“Special thanks to Gary Kolb, the Walt Disney of Life With Joy Inc., whose vision inspires us to come out of our comfort zone and build a center for excellence where people of all abilities and disabilities can learn, can be recognized and can reach their full potential.”







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