Paying It Forward

Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson

For Debbie Peterson and her family, Western medicine is not the final word when dealing with serious illness. At age seven, Peterson’s son, Andrew, was diagnosed with the incurable disorder, Tourette Syndrome. Despite running the gamut of traditional treatments, his symptoms continued to worsen, and Peterson, though unfamiliar with alternative practices, was willing to try anything to help her son.

She and her family met Morristown-based healing-touch practitioner Robert Kandarjian. The success of his treatment—Andrew hasn’t experienced any symptoms in six years—was the impetus behind Peterson, a former marketing representative, embarking on a health-focused business venture. Peterson founded Debbie Peterson Wellness Events to promote and educate the public on alternative health care treatments.

“I live with a miracle everyday and I want people to know it,” says the Rockaway resident. “I want to educate, create awareness, really bring these things to the average person who might not know about it.”

The annual galas focus on alternative, holistic, and integrative medicine. A November event will feature 50-plus practitioners and vendors focused on beauty, health, and wellness initiatives. Presenters will provide mini-sessions that will run throughout the day in areas such as acupuncture, psychological acupressure, intuitive medicine, and sound and energy healing. Attendees also can participate in seminars to learn about stress reduction and hands-on healing. Best-selling author and intuitive medium Concetta Bertoldi will be on hand for a demonstration and book signing.

“Everything at the gala is experiential,” says Peterson. Live music and refreshments will be available, and, as is tradition for the event, a portion of the proceeds will go toward the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey.

Peterson’s first wellness gala was in February 2009, and the organization shows no signs of slowing down. “I love it. I really feel like it’s my true mission,” Peterson says. The CEO and mother of two is thrilled with how well things have been going and hopes to advocate for holistic medicine on a global scale.

Balance Your Life…A Wellness Gala will take place November 14 at the Knoll Country Club East in Boonton from 1 to 6 pm. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. For more information visit

Location, Location

The Dakota and Brookly Bridge

The Dakota and Queensboro Bridge

Whether you are a movie buff or just want to offer visiting relatives a treat, the Classic New York Movie Sites bus tour will strike a nostalgic chord and lend a fresh view of some of Manhattan’s iconic film moments. The three-and-a-half-hour tours, by New York City-based On Location Tours, provide a filmmaker’s perspective on Big-Apple architecture and historic landmarks. You’ll see location sites from films including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Apartment, Taxi Driver, The Way We Were, Manhattan, The Seven Year Itch, The Godfather, and many others. Tour dates include November 7 and 21 and December 5 and 19. Tickets are $38 (plus a $2 ticket fee). For more information, visit

Hooray for Hollywood!

Barbara Stanwyck in The Great Man’s Lady, 1942. Her black velvet dress with silver glass beads was created by famed costume designer Edith Head.

Barbara Stanwyck in The Great Man’s Lady, 1942. Her black velvet dress with silver glass beads was created by famed costume designer Edith Head.

If you’re a film lover, costume fanatic, or fashionista, don’t miss the glitzy “Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era and Beyond” exhibit at the Morris Museum in Morristown (973-971-3700; through December 5.

You might feel a little weak in the knees as you ogle the silk-crepe evening dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina (1954), designed by Hubert de Givenchy and eight-time Academy Award-winning designer Edith Head. Or the heavily beaded pink-and-green floral dress, also designed by Head, that Grace Kelly wore to the premiere of To Catch a Thief (1955). Then there’s Barbara Stanwyck’s black velvet costume from The Great Man’s Lady (1942); Marlene Dietrich’s velvet evening gown from Shanghai Express; and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s uber-stylish leather jacket and pants ensemble from Terminator 2: Judgment Day.

Feast your eyes on the over-the-top cuff bracelets worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra—designs so timeless that they would perfectly complement this season’s holiday party dresses.

Organized by the Michener Art Museum in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the exhibition is drawn from the fashion collection of John Lebold, who was an assistant to Head. The exhibit includes costumes by other legendary designers, including Adrian, Walter Plunkett, Bob Mackie, Orry-Kelly, Helen Rose, and Travilla.

Bring a lightly used woman’s business suit or accessory to benefit Dress for Success of Morris County (973-822-3188;, and save a buck on admission.—Susan Brierly

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About this article

Author: Issue: Nov/Dec 2010
Credits: New York photos: Courtesy of On location Tours; Icons of Costume: Courtesy of morris museum
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