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Rayside-Balfour Canadians
Joe MacDonald Youth Football League
Monday, Nov. 20, 2017
Dream to Be fund takes flight
2017-08-22
by Randy Pascal

At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, there is more to life than hockey.

In fact, in the eyes of sisters Tayler and Makenna Murphy, there is more to hockey than just hockey.

A member of the national champion Sudbury Midget "AA" Lady Wolves team two years ago, Tayler and her teammates welcomed an interesting addition to their program, as the girls devoted volunteer time, with regularity, involved heavily in campaigns which gave back to the community.

As she prepares to begin her OUA career with the York Lions, she has followed up with an interesting initiative, partnering with her sister to launch "Dream to Be" (www.dreamtobe.ca), a not-for-profit organization with a goal of providing an opportunity for young girls to play hockey, who may not enjoy the financial means to do so.

There is little doubt the genesis of this effort came from the experience that Tayler enjoyed during the 2015-2016 hockey season. "The reaction that we received from some of the young girls, when we would walk in, that was kind of what started it all," she said. "We wanted to make sure that all girls that wanted to play would have the chance to do so."

Like most young teens, neither of the siblings had much exposure to the benefits of volunteerism, an outlook that changed notably the moment they began to give back. "Once it first started happening, I think it really kicked in and we could all feel it," said Tayler.

"It's such an amazing feeling, it's such a good thing, that we knew we had to keep doing it. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the little girls when we went to the hospital was such a good experience, it seemed like we were making a difference."

Over the years, Tayler, the younger of the two sisters at 18 years of age, has enjoyed her fair share of on-ice success. This is different. "To win an award, win a game, I obviously feel proud of myself, but honestly, I feel a million times better after volunteering and helping to make other people happy," she said.

"When you help another person and you see the reaction on their face, it means so much more." Now 20 years of age, Makenna enjoyed hockey in a far more recreational environment than her sister. "She brings in the competitive side and I bring more of the houseleague side," she said with a smile. "We pair up well together."

In many ways, those who stand to benefit from the work of the enterprising young women are more likely to follow in Makenna's footsteps, an outcome that she fully appreciates. "The satisfaction of knowing that you're helping another little girl start hockey, and that they have that same great experience that you had is wonderful."

The girls initially set out to raise approximately $2500, enough money, they estimated, to cover the required costs of four first time participants in the Sudbury District Girls Hockey Association. At roughly $600 per recipient, the hope was to completely outfit and cover registration cost for girls, aged four to ten, picking up the sport for the very first time.

Before they knew it, a total of $4000 had been raised. In fact, the money honestly came in easier than some of the more pragmatic elements of the launch. "Just coming up with a name, that was the longest process in setting up the whole thing," said Makenna.

"We sat down for a night and went through name after name, and that was the one that everyone agreed to - and then we couldn't figure out the capitalization," she laughed.

Now, the need to gather qualified applicants is upon them, with families asked to provide two letters of reference that confirm the need exists. "It's going to be hard going through the applications," said Makenna.

"It will be tough to choose, but we hope that we introduce players who pursue hockey beyond one year." With any luck at all, introduce girls who will enjoy hockey as much as Tayler and Makenna Murphy - even if it isn't everything.

For more information on the initiative and the application process, visit "www.dreamtobe.ca".

Science North
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