Loss of Budd Lake Teens Spurs Community Aid
Grief counseling in Mount Olive High School and a pair of fundraisers for funeral costs are in the works for the families of Clyde Schimanski and Nick Cianciotto.
Budd Lake resident Kim Maleyonok didn't know how bad the situation was on Monday night, but didn't sit idly by once she heard there were two teenagers missing in the partially frozen waters of Budd Lake.
"My husband was the one who brought it to my attention. He was like, 'there is a helicopter out there searching,'" Maleyonok said.
By Tuesday morning, Maleyonok and Katherine Sutton were by the shore of Budd Lake and at the side of Clyde Schimanski Jr. whose son Clyde Schimanski III was one of the teens being searched for.
"I've known Big Clyde for a long time," Sutton said. "Even after I moved to Newton I still would come and visit him all the time."
Sutton and Maleyonok were there in pajama pants, unwilling to stray far from "Big Clyde" as he awaited word from officials. Maleyonok said Clyde Schimanski Jr. would "rip out his heart for you" and even though he had limited means, would always make sure to give her kids a dollar when he saw them.
"'Go get yourself a donut or something,' he would say," Maleyonok said.
With the looming cost of a funeral, Maleyonok set up In Loving Memory of Clyde Schimanski, a Give Forward donation page where people can give money to help pay for Clyde Schimanski III's final expenses.
According to a report on NJ.com, another fund has been set up for Nick Cianciotto, the second Mount Olive teen believed to have fallen through the ice on Budd Lake Monday night.
The report says that donors can contribute to the fund by mailing checks made out to "Nick Cianciotto Memorial Fund" to PNC Bank, 3 Naughright Road, Hackettstown, NJ 07840. Or by visiting the bank in person.
Maleyonok said that her daughter, who had a math class with Cianciotto, told her both teachers and students at Mt. Olive High School were crying in and out of the classroom.
"The high school counseling staff is providing services to any student that needs to talk," Mt. Olive Superintendent Dr. Larrie Reynolds said.
According to Reynolds, more than twenty students were availing themselves of the service.
Another report from NJ.com recounted those grieving students holding a vigil by the lake as they awaited the recovery of their classmates.
One of the two missing teens was recovered from Budd Lake Tuesday. After an overnight recess from recovery dives, the search resumed at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Mt. Olive Mayor Rob Greenbaum wrote on his public Facebook, "Let's bring the last boy home today."