Announcement of the Michael D. Reilley Scholarship Foundation 2nd Annual Tricky Tray & Awards Dinner on June 22nd, 2018 at Nutley Parks and Rec facility on Park Ave

Today’s high school students face monumental challenges, requiring inspiration, support and motivation to succeed. The Michael D. Reilley Scholarship Foundation was formed to honor the memory of and carry on the spirit of unmatched perseverance and courage exhibited by its namesake, Michael D. Reilley.

Mike was an inspiration to many. Paralyzed by a diving accident after his junior year of high school, he lived his entire life beyond the physical confines of his wheelchair before succumbing to cancer in late 2015. Mike was an international traveler, talented artist, diehard Yankee fan, a fantasy baseball league commissioner, free-spirited dancer and intellectual. With Mike, there was never a dance floor left unconquered or a problem left unsolved.

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Mike graduated from Nutley High School in 1977 and earned a degree in science from Rutgers University. After college, he worked for ITT Corporation for more than 25 years, quickly climbing the company program management ladder. His career advancements led him to be responsible for managing multi-million dollar design and development programs including satellite navigational communication payloads for the US government. 

Incredibly, Mike’s courage then drove him to follow his passion of the stock market and leave his successful career at ITT. After studying and passing the rigorous test requirements, he was hired as a stockbroker for a financial firm in New York City. Mike later returned to ITT where his project management expertise was utilized again.  In Mike’s spare time, he helped design a software application marketed to help individuals track and manage their health history, a subject he understood based on his own challenges and experiences. 

Mike touched so many lives. Known to his friends and family as Mike, Michael, Riles, Uncle Mike and Mikey, the net of love that he cast spread farther that most people deem possible. A stranger was no longer a stranger once they met Mike. His goal in life was to make everyone around him smile and make sure that those that he loved were happy. He was a counselor, a confidant, a promise-keeper and a best friend. Michael did everything in his power to help others in need. Imagine, Mike was often the one to lift family and friends spirits when needed!

It’s important to understand the depth of courage and perseverance that enabled Mike to meet the above accomplishments, as he had no use of his legs or hands. He battled cancer for years before succumbing in late 2015. Mike lived autonomously, utilizing a voice activated control system to accomplish everyday tasks.  He ran his household and life like a project manager and his family and friends were his support system.

To honor the memory of our beloved son, brother, uncle and friend, the Michael D. Reilley Scholarship Foundation was established and we are actively raising monies to help us fund scholarships in Michael’s name.  Contributions can be mailed to the address below or directly to 

The Foundation will present a minimum of two monetary scholarships to deserving local high school students. Thank you for contributing to this worthy cause.

To order tickets for the upcoming event, please click on the link below.


Michael D. Reilley Scholarship Foundation (Tax ID: 81-0930643)

P.O. Box 706

Nutley, NJ 07110