Presidents Welcome

Leonard G. August

Dear Friends of Kids’ Chance:

Welcome to Kids’ Chance of New Jersey. It was only a few short years ago a diverse group of people sat down together in a restaurant and started a discussion, forming Kids’ Chance of New Jersey. Having been exposed to Kids’ Chance of Georgia through one of our clients, Justin Derkack and I brought the idea home with us. Working with that diverse group including Sherry DePinto, Dr. Charles Gatto, Carol Wright, John Gaeney, Drew Lotis, Chrysten Shea and Jim Donnelly, Kids’ Chance of New Jersey was born. Since that fateful day not that long ago, much has happened.

With the help of some great supporters and donors KCNJ has held two spectacular galas; two sell out bowling events and other fundraisers. But the one thing we are most proud of is giving some very special young adults the chance to fulfill their educational goals with our help. At our first gala held in 2013, we awarded our very first $10,000.00 scholarship to Mackenzie Kurnath. At the Second Annual KCNJ Gala, along with Mackenzie we awarded 5 more students with scholarships. Without the help of KCNJ life for these students would be very different. Some would have to give up attending college because of the lack of finances. Any of us that have children in college know the costs involved. Now imagine how to pay those bills when one of the parents is no longer able to work. The impact of a catastrophic or fatal injury can be devastating to a family both financially and emotionally. The work we do at KCNJ helps relieve some of those stresses. You can read about our students here on our website.

Kids’ Chance of NJ is a member of Kids’ Chance of America and through this national organization we receive guidance, funding from national sponsors and a forum to share ideas. All money raised in New Jersey, stays here in New Jersey and funds scholarships for New Jersey’s students. Also, because of money provided by the founders’ and their companies, all donations go directly to scholarships. Money is raised through sponsorships for the various events and costs associated with them. This is a principle the founding members and current Board of Directors take great pride in. The Board wants every dollar possible to go directly to fund scholarships.

Kids’ Chance of NJ is one of approximately 36 Kids’ Chance or affiliated charities across the country. One common challenge among all of the organizations is finding scholarship candidates. You may not be aware that anyone can refer a student for a scholarship. It can be an old case, a closed case or a new case. It doesn’t even have to be your case. It can be your neighbor, your cousin, or even someone you may encounter in the supermarket or church. You can even refer a younger child now and we will reach out them when they reach college age.

I hope you will join us at one of our events, make a tax deductible donation, sponsor at one of our events or most importantly refer a student that needs our help!
To paraphrase the song,” We believe the children are our future, we need to teach them well and let them lead the way!”


Leonard G. August
President - Kids' Chance of New Jersey