The death of Nicholas Paggi some 16 months ago at the age of 24 was indeed a tragedy and as devastating as it was his family did not waste any time in making sure his spirit and memory would live on and serve others.

Some might remember that Nick died after falling off the roof of a building at his alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  After graduating from there with dual Bachelor degrees he remained in Cambridge and was working as a software engineer. Prior to that he was the Valedictorian of the Class of 2011 at what was then Monsignor Donovan High School and in addition to being a brilliant scholar was an accomplished sailor taking his love of the water from the Toms River to the Charles River.

At the time of his passing I remember doing a Hometown View in which I used a quote from someone else in saying that Nick’s future was “so bright he had to wear shades.”  While he never got to experience that future his family immediately decided that others would benefit by launching the Nicholas Paggi Memorial Scholarship Fund at Donovan Catholic to reward students who major in math or science and plan for a future in those fields.

To date four recipients have received over $10,000 in scholarships and Mac books through the fund.

Wanting to do more to insure his legacy at his alma mater plans are in the works to establish the Nicholas Paggi Robotics Lab in the science wing of the high school.  The goal is to build a state-of-the-art robotics lab that would allow students to strengthen their learning while creating opportunities that will benefit them in college.

$40,000 is needed to complete the project and a fundraiser will be held at the Paggi’s home in Toms River on Saturday, August 25th.  “An Evening on the River” will be a night of great food, wine, music and friends all to support projects that will indeed help others have the future Nick never got to experience.

All are welcome to enjoy a night on the river and help make this dream a reality.  For more information call Donovan Catholic High School at 732-349-8801 or visit donovancatholic.org.