Doug Kirk has just retired from a 38 year teaching and coaching career. An English teacher, Doug was formerly the head coach of the Mendham High School football team. Doug, a resident of Morris County, New Jersey, looks forward to working with Geoffrey and the Trustees to help Morris County students move forward.
Geoffrey, a resident of Brookside, NJ, is the inspiration behind Geoffrey’s MVP, Inc. A passionate sports fan, Geoffrey has attended every Mendham HS football game since 1999. He is thrilled to lead an organization that will help students who have also unselfishly and enthusiastically supported their own Morris County football team.
Siobhan has lived in Morris County since the early 70’s with over 25 years experience in financial management. She loves sports, played women’s volleyball at St. Francis University, plays tennis regularly, and is proud to be helping students who have a commitment to sportsmanship. She’s been married to Doug for 25 years.
Jeanne has spent her professional career as a Special Education teacher and then an assistant to a Superior Court Judge. Since retirement, she enjoys spending time with her two sons and with her close family and friends. Serving as secretary on the board is very exciting and rewarding for her.
Gary has lived in Morris County for over 30 years and is the father to Geoffrey and Brian, both graduates of Mendham High School. He is married to Jeanne for over 35 years. Gary is a passionate football fan playing through high school and college. He has been a high school football supporter for many years and is anxious to help someone in need to achieve their goal of continued education.
Geoffrey Kraig D’Aries was born in Livingston, NJ, on May 13, 1984, to parents Jeanne and Gary. Much to his parents’ surprise, he arrived 10 weeks earlier than expected. Geoffrey was 3 pounds 6 ounces upon delivery, fitting easily into his father’s palm. Due to the irregularity of his birth, Geoffrey spent his first 10 weeks inside an incubator in the ICU and was given a tedious series of tests. Once home, Geoffrey was embraced by a loving group of family and friends. It became apparent early on that Geoffrey was unique and special. His fiery red hair and cool blue eyes framed a smile that would light up the room. His acute perception to people and the world around him would grow with each day. At 15 months, Geoffrey welcomed his brother Brian to the family and the two would soon become inseparable. At around age two, Geoffrey’s parents began to notice that his development was not tracking as planned. While brother Brian started crawling, Geoffrey would gleefully watch and giggle but would not tag along.
Geoffrey’s parents sought out the advice of a number of top specialists to better understand his developmental challenges. Much to their dismay, the advice they received was startling and heartbreaking. A top specialist diagnosed Geoffrey with Cerebral Palsy, a neurological disorder that impairs the body’s motor skills due to an insult to the brain during birth. The doctor recommended that Geoffrey be institutionalized as he would never have the ability to walk, talk, think, or be a functioning member of society. Their encounter, while devastating at the time, only motivated his parents to prove the doctor wrong. From this point forward they were unwavering in their commitment to provide Geoffrey with the best care, and an immeasurable amount of love.
The family traveled across the globe throughout Geoffrey’s childhood seeking advice and counsel of specialists in the field of CP (Cerebral Palsy). A number of therapeutic techniques were explored and shared throughout their travels including aquatic stretching and resistance training, as well as occupational therapies to improve Geoffrey’s ability to sit, grab objects, and eventually eat by himself. The famed Bobath Center for CP in London was especially helpful to Geoffrey. Upon their return, Geoffrey and his parents surrounded themselves with an excellent team of therapists who would continue the techniques they had learned abroad.
In the following years, Geoffrey grew by leaps and bounds much to the excitement and joy of his therapists and family. He was enrolled in public school and continued to excel, with particular interests in sports and politics. He became involved in a number of social groups, including Cub Scouts, Debate Team, and the International Club. In these years he developed a determination and drive that would continue to push him through life, turning obstacles into opportunities. His inquisitive nature and desire to connect with people has opened many doors. His motivational spirit has captured the attention of his peers, teachers, and celebrities alike. With a growing interest in sports, Geoffrey became a passionate Knicks fan, becoming a staple at Madison Square Garden. The sports bug soon turned him from basketball to baseball and he followed both the Mets and Yankees around the country for a month-long trip, actually swimming with the teams and giving batting advice where needed. His affinity for sports grew into a true passion; an extended family that he would look forward to following through the years.
When Geoffrey entered Mendham High School in 1999, he quickly became enamored with the athletic community at the school. The passion and focus of the players, coaches, and fans was truly inspiring to Geoffrey. He quickly became the biggest fan, and the teams clearly appreciated his unrelenting loyalty. Not only was he good luck, sitting on the sidelines of every football and basketball game, but also unafraid to offer some tough love when the team needed it most, either in the locker room, at the seasonal banquets, or at one of the many pasta parties he threw at his home.
Having graduated MHS in 2004, Geoffrey continues to be an avid supporter of the school’s athletic programs, literally scheduling his life around the games, ready to cheer them on every step of the way, rain or shine, home or away. His perseverance through all the obstacles that Life has thrown his way has been an inspiration to everyone he meets. “CP does not define who I am” – a motto that Geoffrey lives by and a reminder to all to keep pushing forward and to never give up.
The best way to get involved is to donate so that we can raise enough money to reach our scholarship goals! We are an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and all contributions are fully tax deductible. Please visit our Donation Page to learn more!
If you are a Morris County high school student, we would love to hear from you! Our goal is to give back and we need participating applicants to do so! Please visit our Application Page to learn more!
If you have any questions, concerns, would like to volunteer or simply would like to send some love to Geoffrey or Geoffrey’s MVP, don’t hesitate to visit our Contact Page to drop us a message!