Nikki’s Foundation to End Distracted Driving was founded in 2012, in memory of Nikki Kellenyi, a beloved Washington Township high school senior who died at the age of 18, a VICTIM of a distracted driving auto crash as a backseat passenger in a car driven by her friend, one month before her high school senior prom.
Our foundation strives to eliminate needless distracted driving by:
- Offering education to drivers about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Supporting those who have lost loved ones at the hand of a distracted driver.
- Partnering with local, state and federal governments to promote the passage of legislation making it a criminal offense to drive while distracted.
- Installing "Don't Text And Drive" signs and "Don't Drive Distracted signs on roads, in schools, businesses and billboards in an effort to keep reminding everyone to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.
- Helping victims of distracted driving, both financially with grants and emotionally with support.
Nicole Lauren Kellenyi, 18, of Washington Twp., passed away suddenly on April 15 from injuries sustained in a car accident. Beloved daughter of Michael and Gina (nee Capodanno). Loving sister of Kristen. Loving granddaughter of Gilda Capodanno and Nancy Kellenyi. Dear niece of Donna and Ernie DeMarchis, Connie and Steven Mills, Joe Kellenyi, Steve and Nancy Kellenyi, Dan Kellenyi and Karen and John Swope. She is also survived by her loving cousins. She was predeceased by her paternal Grandfather, Joseph Kellenyi, and her maternal Grandfather, Vincent Capodanno. Nicole, or known to her family and friends as Nikki, was loved by not just her family, but her many friends as well. A senior at Washington Township High School, Nikki's name frequently appeared on the "Principal's List Roster" for earning all A's, and she was named Student of the Month many times throughout her high school career. Nikki was a part of the DECA program and was just recently named to the National Honor Society for Business, an extremely selective program. As accomplished as Nikki was, you would never know of her awards because she was so humble. Sadly, on the afternoon of the day of her accident, Nikki committed to attending Rider University to major in Accounting. A natural-born athlete, Nikki played basketball for Washington Twp. Parks & Recreation. She brought home many trophies and was awarded MVP at the 2007 Championship Game. As athletic as she was on the court, she still showed grace. Nikki danced privately and also for the Washington Twp. Dance Team. She was strong at gymnastics and was also a cheerleader for the Washington Twp. High School. Nikki and her family had a love for horses and owned many over the years. Nikki and her sister, Kristen, were both members of the Gloucester County 4-H Equestrian program and competed at the county and state levels of competition. She and her horse, Maggie, earned many ribbons, including the County Grand Champion and Reserve Champion many times. Her highest achievement was earning the New Jersey State Grand Championship for Western Pleasure. Nikki's 4-H club was not only about riding horses, as it also supported many charitable organizations with volunteer causes. In 2006, her club, "Saddle Stars," was awarded the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President George Bush for service and support to our veterans. In addition to her studies and school activities, Nikki worked two part-time jobs at Bruster's and Virtua Health & Wellness Center. She loved days on the beach and being around her friends. She had just returned home from her high school senior class trip to Walt Disney World, Florida and was looking forward to Senior Prom. She will be laid to rest in her recently purchased black, crystal-studded prom gown. Nikki loved dogs. Her family drove to Virginia to rescue a Coonhound they named Anna and recently brought home another new coonhound pup, Rocco, into their family. Her relationship with her sister, Kristen, is an eternal bond that not even death could break. Both young ladies were close in age and shared not only the title of sisters, but best friends as well. Her parents, Mike and Gina, were her loudest cheerleaders, and supported her every endeavor. They have lived their lives for both Nikki and Kristen and have always been willing to do anything to ensure their success and happiness. Nikki was simply a beautiful person inside and out. Nikki's kindness and compassion for others was felt by all who knew her. Her parents nurtured this outstanding young lady that we were so fortunate to have in our lives. She will be sadly missed by all. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her viewing Thursday 5:30 – 9:00 pm and Friday 10:30 – 11:30 am at SS. Peter & Paul RC Church, 362 Ganttown Road, Washington Twp. Mass of Christian Burial 12:00 pm. Interment All Saints Cemetery, Franklin Twp.