PRINCETON, NJ – JUNE 8, 2015 – Kids’ Chance of New Jersey, Inc. awards the first recipient of the Ted Smyk Memorial Scholarship that will be presented at its 3rd Annual Fundraising Gala to be held on July 23, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Heldrich Hotel located in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Theodore (Ted) S. Smyk passed away from complications of pancreatitis on August 10, 2014. Donations have been raised to create a KCNJ Memorial Scholarship in his name. Born in Binghamton, NY, he went on to earn his BA in political science at Syracuse University in 1968. After graduation he landed a job as an insurance investigator with Crawford and Company. Ted would eventually move to NJ where he remained in the insurance industry for the entirety of his career. Ted was Vice President, Claims at Magna Carta Companies in Manhattan at the time of his death. He and his family were longtime Princeton residents. He was a Police Athletic League (PAL) organization member and coach. Ted experienced first hand the impact that a serious work-related injury can have on families. Ted Smyk and his family admired and supported the KCNJ mission. He possessed a generous spirit for those in need.
Mackenzie Kurnath, a graduate of West Morris Mendham High School and Junior at the University of Delaware, is the first recipient of the Ted S. Smyk Memorial Scholarship. Mackenzie’s father, William Kurnath, was seriously injured in a car accident while away on business leaving him a paraplegic. Sherry DePinto, co-founder and secretary of KCNJ, explains, “In spite of the continued struggle that has burdened the Kurnath family both emotionally and financially, Mackenzie is an incredible example of perseverance. The Ted Smyk Memorial Scholarship will help Mackenzie continue pursuing her degree in Fashion.”
Mackenzie states, “I’m so grateful to be nominated in honor of Teds memory and his family who have done so much to help this organization thrive. Without families like the Smyk’s, kids like me would be unable to achieve the success we desire.”
Kids’ Chance of New Jersey, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 2012 that awards higher education scholarships to the children of New Jersey workers who have been fatally or catastrophically injured in a work-related accident, resulting in financial need. More than 4 million workplace injuries occur in the United States each year, with approximately 1 million of those resulting in disabling injuries and 5,000 resulting in death.
For more information on Kids’ Chance of NJ, Inc., including gala ticket pricing and sponsorship information, please visit www.kidschancenj.org.