As was announced at the 2023 Breakfast with the Mayors, the Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce's scholarship is being renamed to the Skip Kelley Memorial Scholarship.
Every year, The Greater Pascack Valley Chamber of Commerce awards scholarships to ten eligible, deserving seniors - one in each town that the Chamber represents: Montvale, Park Ride, Woodcliff Lake, River Vale, Old Tappan, Hillsdale, Washington Township, Westwood, Emerson, and Oradell. Students from each town are asked to submit two essays answering questions about what has shaped them and what their future goals and plans are.
Given how much Skip did for not just the Chamber, but each town, the county, and the country, the decision to rename the scholarship after him was unanimous.
Born in Hackensack and raised in Allendale, Skip was a Bergen County native. He started his long life of service as an Airman in the United States Air Force from 1964 to 1968; this time included a deployment to Vietnam. He continued his service upon his return by volunteering in his beloved hometown of Westwood where he served numerous roles, including: little league coach, Councilman, Mayor, and member of countless boards, commissions, and committees. However, he truly found his niche by volunteering as a mentor to those struggling with alcohol abuse. He quietly guided and supported hundreds of people as they transitioned into sobriety.
For all the reasons above and more, Skip and his wife, Nina, were honored as Greater Pascack Valley Citizens of the Year in 2013.
Though Skip passed on December 11, 2022 (just five days after his 77th birthday), his legacy will remain a guiding presence for the Chamber, where he served as Vice President and Board Member, and for so many others whose lives he touched. His life is one that deserves this honor.
Thank you, Skip.