Back in the late spring/early summer of 2020, amidst the COVID-19 crisis, Netcong Elementary School student, Barbara Witt had an idea that she pitched to her third grade teacher, Mrs. Jacqueline Cinotti. Mrs. Cinotti had advised her then third grade students that they should try to read at least 20 minutes a day over the summer. Barbara used this challenge to raise money for the Say Hi Foundation by getting friends and family members to sponsor her when she read for 20 minutes each day over summer vacation. Barbara was able to successfully raise $640 which she donated to the Say Hi Foundation which was founded in honor of Cinotti’s late son Joseph. The Say Hi Foundation was founded in 2019 in loving memory of Joseph Anthony Cinotti who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 15. The mission of the Say Hi Foundation is to keep the spirit of Joseph Anthony Cinotti alive while enriching the lives of children and young adults with special needs by supporting local programs throughout our community.
Barbara even inspired another classmate, Malin Szewczyk, to raise money for the foundation. Malin also solicited sponsorships from family and friends as he read over the summer earning $550 to support this worthy cause. Both Witt and Szewczyk were students in Mrs. Cinotti’s third grade class, and now have the pleasure of having Mrs. Cinotti again for fourth grade, where Joseph, is an ever part of the classroom community.
“I am incredibly proud of both Barbara and Malin for not only taking the time to read over the summer, but, for channeling their reading into supporting a noteworthy cause. I commend both Barbara and Malin for donating to the Say Hi Foundation and for their dedication to serving both the school and local communities” said Kathleen Walsh, Superintendent of the Netcong School District.