2011-07-08 / Sports

Benefit Basketball Game Honors Memory Of Three Young People

Danny Green of the Spurs Danny Green of the Spurs On Saturday July 30th The Malone Mulhall Benefit Basketball Game will be held at St. John’s University. This memorable event is being held to honor the loss of three close friends, Michael Mulhall (age 22), Jamie Malone (age 22) and Paige Malone (age 19). On July 15th, 2010, they were on their way to work at Camp ANCHOR, a recreational summer camp for special needs people of all ages, when their daily commute turned into a fatal accident. All three staff members were devoted children, friends, and co-workers, and this tragic incident shook our community to its very core. Through the strength and communion of friends and family, the loss of our friends turned into an outpouring of generosity and bonding, drawing the community even closer. The Malone Mulhall Benefit Game has been established in an effort to do charitable work in their memory, by providing a high-talent basketball exhibition at St. John’s University to raise money for the foundations and scholarships established in their names. A number of highly talented players have already committed to play, including: Danny Green (San Antonio Spurs/University of North Carolina), Jamine Peterson (NBA D-league, Providence), Vernon Goodridge (NBA D-League, La Salle), Jeff Xavier (Professional in Spain/Providence), Tyrone Nash (Notre Dame), Paris Horne (St. John’s University), Andrew Beinert (Holy Cross, Floral Park native), and other highly talented players. This is sure to be an exciting competition, as well as a successful fundraiser, and it is our hope that you would be able to attend the event. It would bring great joy to the Malone and Mulhall families to see a filled arena.

Tyrone Nash Tyrone Nash There is no better way to celebrate the lives of these three young people than through an athletic competition- sports was a part of their childhood, their daily routine, and their work at ANCHOR. Camp ANCHOR was established to help aid the social and communication skills of the special needs population and Mike, Jamie, and Paige had each dedicated 7 or more years of their lives to this admirable work. Physical education is a large part of the work done at Camp ANCHOR, and a day could hardly go by that you wouldn’t see Mike having a catch with a young child with Down’s syndrome, or Jamie teaching one of her campers with autism how to play soccer. It was a rarity not to find Paige chasing after one of her 6 year old campers who had taken off with a basketball, insistent that the lines on the court had little bearing on the actual game. There are no LeBron’s at Camp ANCHOR, and you are not likely to find the next Mariano Rivera on the baseball field, but my friends Mike, Jamie, and Paige could make these kids think they were just that. Athletics was not just a time-filler, a way to give the kids a bit of exercise, but an integral part of teaching these children how to share, how to cooperate, and most importantly, how to take pride in themselves.

Jim Malone, father of Jamie and Paige has been a staple in the Garden City community for many years, serving as the Garden City High School Golf coach for 10 seasons, and even longer serving as a guidance counselor at Garden City High School. Camp ANCHOR has strong ties to Garden City, with numerous staff, volunteers, and campers all coming from the area. Jamie and Paige (Sacred Heart Academy) and Michael (Chaminade), had numerous friends from our area, and could often be found spending time in this beautiful town.

Sports are more than just a testament to the tremendous work our friends did, but also a coping mechanism for those they have left behind. Jim Malone is also a career high school basketball coach, spending more than 20 years coaching boys basketball in New York City. Currently the head coach at Beach Channel High School, basketball was the game that he taught his children, all talented athletes in their own respect.

On the day after the accident, a group of family and friends were gathered at the Malone house, grieving. It isn’t known who suggested it, or whether the idea took much coaxing, but a group of the guys all got up and headed to the park. There they were, brothers, boyfriends of Jamie and Paige, cousins, uncles, and good friends of these two beautiful girls, taking time out from their grief in the way they knew best- basketball. It was a small escape from such a crushing loss, but for a few hours they were able to get away from all their pain and just play the game our friends loved and taught so well.

Tickets will be on sale July 18th - 22nd and July 25th - 28th at the Island Garden Basketball Center (45 Cherry Valley Avenue, West Hempstead) from 6 PM-10 PM. You may also purchase tickets from our website www.MMBenefitGame.com. Purchase your tickets as soon as possible! For any families or companies who would like to take part as a sponsor for the game, please contact Malone MulhallBG@gmail.com

This event not only offers a chance at honoring our lost friends, but also to lend those who remain here some small degree of healing. The fundraiser is shaping up to be a huge success, with major recognition from articles covered by Sports Illustrated, ESPN and other media outlets.

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