NJ woman honors grandparents with foundation
When childhood sweethearts, Olympia and Michael DeNittis, passed away last year 32 hours apart after 67 years of marriage, their granddaughter wanted to do something to pay tribute to two people who meant so much to so many.
AnnMarie McDonald said her grandparents were able to parlay their trade skills into a wonderful middle class life in Middlesex County.
"My grandfather was a cabinet maker in Woodbridge after World War II, and my grandmother was a seamstress in Perth Amboy," she explained.
In an effort to foster the next generation of these specialized workers and honor her grandparents, McDonald has started the 67 Foundation.
"The 67 Foundation is a scholarship fund for students who are interested in post-secondary trade and vocational school," she said.
McDonald said these students are often ignored without access to the same scholarships and grants, which students of four-year colleges have, to offset the exorbitant cost.
"So trade and vocational students are often on their own to pay for their own education and training," McDonald said.
While the non-profit is in the start-up phase of raising money, their goal is to award 67 scholarships to 67 Jersey students over the next 10 years. They plan to start accepting applications in 2016.
"The 67 Foundation seeks to support the next generation of Michael's and Olympia's, and we will certainly need that in New Jersey," McDonald said.