Giving Back

Community Rallies for Woodland Park Boy's Medical Needs

From left are Rosita Nitch, Scott Nitch, Mayor Keith Kazmark and Lori Brigati, member of the Passaic Valley High School Board of Education, at a fundraiser for the Woodland Park teen. Credits: Photo courtesy of Keith Kazmark

WOODLAND PARK, NJ - It may have been a cold and blustery Sunday afternoon, but plenty of warmth and good wishes went around inside yesterday at Joey McBride's Pub, located at 1145 McBride Ave.

Over 100 people came out for the fundraiser "A Song for Scott." The event was held for local resident Scott Nitch, 14, who suffers from Noonan syndrome (NS), a genetic multisystem disorder that causes low muscle tone, heart defects, stature, growth and gastrointestinal issues, along with developmental delays.

Scott was born premature at 32 weeks and was diagnosed at around a year old. He twin brother Sean does not have the disorder.

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It's estimated that between approximately 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 2,500 children worldwide are born with NS and it's considered to be one of the most common genetic syndromes associated with congenital heat disease. However, the range and severity of features can vary greatly in patients with NS. Scott had developed pulmonary valve stenosis as a baby, an obstruction of blood flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery.

According to his parents Rosita and Steve, many tasks including eating, weight gain and learning in school are a struggle for Scott. He attends weekly therapy and requires the help of various specialists Insurance doesn't cover all the costs. He is currently in eighth grade at Memorial Middle School.

The event included food, drinks, live music, darts and a tricky tray.

Craig Mondesando, manager of Joey McBride's, said a friend of the Nitch family contacted him for the possibility of the pub hosting a fundraising event in order raise funds for Scott.

"I'm from this town originally, and still live here," Mondesando said. "I'm all about the kids and anything for a child, especially a local one. We were happy to provide the food and space. Half of the proceeds from the event here today will be donated to Scott's medical costs. We hope this will help considering insurance doesn't cover much."

Local resident Tina Beard, who was in attendance, echoed the sentiment.

"I wouldn't have missed this for the world," she said. "This was a great fundraiser aimed to help Scott get what he needs. There's so much that insurance doesn't help with."

Scott spoke towards the end of the event and said he appreciated all the help from the local community.

"I want to thank everyone who came out here today," he said.

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