WEST ORANGE, NJ - Michael McCormick was surely smiling down on his family and friends at the Fifth Annual Michael T. McCormick Jr. Memorial Foundation Scholarship Event, held at Mayfair Farms on June 4.
The Foundation awarded $35,000 in scholarships to current Seton Hall Prep students; graduating seniors from area high schools; and several college students continuing their educations.
The graduating seniors will be attending NJIT, Syracuse, Bowling Green State University, Manhattan College, Quinnipiac, Montclair State University, NYU, and the University of Scranton.
"We wish we could provide scholarships to all our applicants," said Karen McCormick. "The applications of the students we selected spoke to us in some way, and I know Michael would agree."
Michael T. McCormick had just turned 19 years old when he was killed in a car accident on August 2, 2009. Michael, born in Livingston, lived in West Orange his entire life and attended Redwood Elementary School, Edison Middle School, and Seton Hall Prep, graduating in 2008. An accomplished athlete, Michael was a member of the varsity football and lacrosse teams. At the time of his death, Michael was a sophomore at Penn State University, and a proud member of Sigma Phi Epilson Fraternity.
In an interview with the Alternative Press in 2013, Karen McCormick, Michael's mom, said, "I don’t remember who came up with the idea of honoring Michael’s memory with a scholarship fund, but as soon as we heard it we knew it was what we were destined to do and it is what Michael would have wanted."
In addition to the current Board of Directors, which is comprised of Mike, Karen and Meaghan McCormick, Kathleen MacKenzie, Brian McCormick, Barry Geltzeiler, Sayre Geltzeiler, Peter Pannucci, Thomas Callahan, and Jesse Bielecke, two new board members, Stephanie Vanderhoof and Joanne Morgenroth, have been added.
The MTM Foundation Mission Statement seeks to"honor the memory of Michael T. McCormick, Jr. by encouraging young people to attain higher education so that they may achieve personal growth and reach their career goals."
By receiving financial relief the foundation hopes to provide the recipient with the ability to better prepare themselves for life’s many challenges. The Foundation seeks to support the recipient to realize success within their families, communities and beyond. With tonight's awards, the MTM Foundation has exceeded $100,000 in scholarship awards since its inception.
This year's Seton Hall Prep awardees:
Brendan Burke, sophomore; Jack Hagan, junior; Colin Kirst, junior; Paul Krakoviak, freshman; James-Casey Musson, junior; Jason Saway, senior.
This year's high school awardees:
Dana Catanzarite, WOHS; Emily DeBarbieri, WOHS; Aaron Flores, WOHS; Tara Hollywood, St. Rose High School; Nicole Lotterman, Pompton Lakes High School; Kelly Parisi, WOHS; Allison Strauss, WOHS; Devin Waldron, Seton Hall Prep; and Brandon Whritenour, West Essex High School.
This year's college awardees: Lindsay Flores, Seton Hall University; Allison Luongo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Kaitlyn Negron, Monmouth University.