MICHAEL SCROCCA MEMORIAL FUND
Summit Area Public Foundation (SAPF)
The Michael Scrocca Memorial Fund,
part of the Summit Area Public Foundation (SAPF),
is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
which was founded in June 2005 by Anthony, Mary and Brian Scrocca.
Anthony, Mary and Brian jointly serve as the fund’s board members.
The fund was established in memory of their 22-year-old son and brother, Michael,
who was killed as a result of an arson fire in College Park, Maryland
on April 30th, 2005.
The Michael Scrocca Memorial Fund was created to honor Michael
in a manner that was appropriate to his dreams, beliefs and aspirations.
The initial funds came from the many donations in Michael’s memory
sent by friends, family, and caring people from all over the country.
Annually, donations from individuals as well as events held in Michael’s memory
contribute to the fund’s growth.
Michael’s family decided it is most important to use these donations
for the greater good of the community, to assist those that are less fortunate
or disabled and provide assistance in the form of scholarships
for continued education.
We believe that people from less privileged families,
those who have endured extraordinary hardships in their life,
and those who live with developmental disabilities are entitled to create
and lead enviable lives.
We believe that less fortunate children should not be void of simple pleasures in life.
We are committed to providing financial assistance for the purpose of
continued education to local young men and women who demonstrate admirable qualities
of joy and enthusiasm in their school and community.
We understand that sponsoring and supporting community needs is the best measure
to serve our youth.
Our vision is that we can make a difference in these lives.
Our vision is to broaden the realm of opportunities for these people,
to enhance the quality of their lives, and to watch them live their day
the way Michael did, with unabridged enjoyment.
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
The mission of the fund is to contribute to organizations that help
to fulfill the various needs of children and their families.
We work to improve the quality of life in our community,
to create opportunities for the underprivileged and handicapped youth,
to support educational programs by rewarding gifted students based on
their achievements and character, and to offer support to larger youth organizations
who offer a vision compatible to our own.
Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of less fortunate people
and provide hope and joy in their hearts.
We have listed below some of the programs that we support.
These programs and others will help realize the Foundation's Vision, Mission and Goals:
Somerville High School “Carpe Deim” Scholarship
- This scholarship was created in 2005 in Michael's memory.
It is awarded each year to a graduating student at Somerville High School
who is continuing their education and “seizes the day” as Michael did.
Somerville High School Baseball Scholarships
- The fund supports two scholarships each year.
They are awarded to graduating students at Somerville High School who were members
on the Varsity Baseball team that have shown leadership skills and team spirit.
Big Brothers Big Sisters
- The fund makes annual donations to support Big Brothers Big Sisters.
This organization matches up an adult to a child
who needs stability and companionship.
Our donation will help to provide funds for special events such as picnics,
day trips, activities, and holiday parties.
Special Olympics New Jersey
- The fund makes annual donations to support the Special Olympics New Jersey.
This program allows physically and mentally handicapped young men and women
the ability to compete in state, national and international sanctioned events.
Special Olympics New Jersey Young Athlete Program
- The Young Athletes Program was created in consultation with
the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey,
to meet the physical and developmental needs of children, ages 2˝ to 7,
in the areas of physical activity and play, with an emphasis on sports skill development.
Somerset Hills Learning Institute (SHLI)
- The Somerset Hills Learning Institute
mission is changing the face of autism.
As a dissemination site of Princeton Child Development Institute (PCDI),
a world leader in research and autism treatment,
SHLI employs the curriculum proven to teach children
the functional skills they need to succeed at home, at play,
at school and in the workforce.
The institute delivers a unique blend of science and compassion to meet
the needs of each of its students.
National MS Society New Jersey Chapter Scholarship Program
- The National MS Society, New Jersey Metro Chapter’s Scholarship Program
provides college scholarships for students who either have MS themselves or have a parent with MS,
allowing these promising students to realize their educational dreams.
The funds are used by the students, based on their needs, for food, housing, books, computers,
transportation, classes, and other educational necessities.
SHIP - Samaritan Homeless Interim Program
- SHIP, the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program, was created in response to the unheeded cry
of the many women, children and men who are in desperate need of emergency housing and associated services.
Many of SHIP's clients are the working poor in desperate need of help, are homeless or near homeless,
are hungry or suffer from substance abuse dependency, HIV/AIDS, mental health issues,
or neglect and isolation.
Valerie Fund Children's Centers for Cancer and Blood Disorders
- The fund makes annual donations to support
the Valerie Fund Children's Centers for Cancer and Blood Disorders.
The Valerie Fund Children's Centers comprise the largest network of
healthcare facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey,
and one of the largest in the nation.
The Valerie Fund's approach is based on the belief that disease in a child
is best fought when the entire family is armed and supported to resist it.
This means bringing state-of-the-art treatment centers close to the home,
providing counseling and child development activities,
making a summer camp experience that creates a one week miracle
for children with cancer, and doing thousands of other things large and small
that collectively make a difference.
There are seven Valerie Fund centers located in major hospitals in the tri-state area,
providing caring and comprehensive health care to more than 5,000 children
and their families each year.
Branchburg Rotary Club
- A donation was made to this charitable organization for the construction
of a baseball field for the Challenger Program.
This program is a baseball league providing physically and/or mentally
handicapped juveniles the ability to play baseball on a weekly basis,
and is dependent upon volunteers and donations from the community.
As a teenager, Mike volunteered as a "Challenger Buddy" for this program.
The fund also made one-time donations to:
Somerset County Association for Retarded Citizens; Sudan Student Relief Fund;
American Red Cross; Hurricane Katrina Assistance.
THROUGH MIKE'S EYES
Michael was the ultimate free spirit.
His defining trait was his gift to relate to people of all backgrounds,
opinions, beliefs, and social groups.
Mike’s laugh was undoubtedly contagious, his smile breathtaking,
and his hug lifting.
Although not many people could feel comfortable living as carefree as Mike did,
everybody admired the way in which he carried himself.
His motives were never questioned, his friends and family were always first,
and Michael acted with his heart.
Along with this compassion was a grand sense of humor, an enormous amount
of enthusiasm and joy towards each day, and a never-ending desire to do more things,
see more places, and meet more people.
After Mike’s death, many of the stories and written articles shared a common theme:
As soon as he met you, Mike Scrocca made you feel as if you knew him your entire life.
Mike had idols and was idolized, had friends and was befriended,
and Michael continues to laugh and cry with us.
Most importantly, Mike loved and was loved, and he knew it.
We will forever miss Mike’s spirit, heart, intelligence, and compassion.
Mike’s gift to us was his friendship that he enjoyed so much,
and our greatest gift to him can be to carry those memories forever,
to speak of him regularly whether through laughter or tears,
and to fully enjoy all that we do.