The Nicholas J. Murphy Foundation is proud to announce that the Dunlap Board of Education approved the building of a new press box for the Dunlap High School Varsity baseball field and that the press box will be named the Nicholas J. Murphy Memorial Press Box in honor of Nick. It is an unbelievable honor for Nick and our family that Nick's legacy will live on through the Nick Murphy Press Box.
In March, 2017, Coach Rod Hatch called Ed Murphy and asked if it would be okay if he talked to the school board and made a request that a new press box could be named after Nick. We were obviously shocked that he would consider doing such a thing and completely honored. Nick loved playing baseball for Dunlap High School and Coach Hatch and loved everything about baseball, his teammates and his time being there. It was a sad day when he graduated in May, 2015 and his high school baseball career ended.
Coach Hatch then contacted the Athletic Director, Greg Crider, and the school board officials and asked that the press box be named after Nick. Over the course of the next month, the officials at Dunlap worked quickly to put this project together so that it could be approved and plans started to get it built as soon as possible. It is obviously a huge undertaking. Then, in full support, at the Dunlap School Board meeting, the naming of the project was approved.
Now the hard part WAs getting the money raised for the building of the Nick Murphy Press Box.
Originally, we thought the cost was going to be approximately $25,000.00. We needed help to raise the money before it could be built. That meant doing a huge fundraiser to raise the money so that it could be built during the summer of 2017. The start of the fundraising was through Coach Hatch and his "Turn Two for #2" double play fundraiser. People signed up to pledge money for every double play turned last baseball season as the first fundraiser for the Nick Murphy Press Box Project. That raised over $1,000.00 by itself and was a huge success..
The rest of the $25,000.00 was going to be raised by private pledges and other community fundraisers. The Dunlap Alumni softball game from 2016 and 2017 donated over $3,000.00. There were many other plans in the works to raise money as well. We then told people last year that whatever money was not raised will be paid for by our family personally. Theresa and I decided that we would make sure the money was raised quickly to make sure the Nick Murphy Press Box was built last summer while there are still players and coaches at the school that played with and coached Nick. We are very proud Nick's legacy of sacrifice and commitment will be carried on through the Nicholas J. Murphy Memorial Press Box.
As a result, we asked for your help. Here is what we asked last year:
It means more than you can know to us and our family for Nick's name and his legacy to be honored by having the press box named after him. We can go to a game and everyone playing in the field and everyone sitting in the stands will be able to look up and see Nick's name at the top of the Press Box overlooking the field. This is personal to us. It means Nick will never be forgotten and his legacy will live on.
Thus, here is what we are asking. We are asking everyone we know to help us raise the funds and contribute specifically to the Nick Murphy Press Box Project. We have already raised plenty of money to support the golf outing and raised a substantial amount to support the educational, military, charitable and legal causes that will undertaken for right now in the next few months. All of the educational scholarships, military scholarships, and charitable donations that are going to be made in the next few months are fully funded through the Foundation. You can send your check payable to the Nicholas J. Murphy Foundation to 456 Fulton Street, Suite 425, Peoria, Illinois 61602.
Anyone who donates $500.00 or more will have their name or family added to a Donor Plaque that will be permanently attached to the building.
Thank you everyone. Please donate so we can make this project a reality. Thank you Dunlap Board of Education, and all of those people involved in the school district as well. It is an honor for us to be involved in this project and make it happen. Nick would be so proud and think this was the coolest thing ever.
The Bad News
Then, we received the bad news. The cost was not going to be $25,000.00 like we thought. It was going to be $78,000.00. Wow, that was a shock. Everything looked bleak. Despite that news, we dug our heals in and decided no matter what we had to do we were going to do it. We called on all of our friends. We knocked on doors. People had fundraisers. Whatever it took, we did it. Them, our friend, Pete Mangieri, stepped in to help get the contractors to donate their time and money to get the cost down. Because of Pete's single handed efforts and the help of Dunlap High School and the school board chipping in, we were able to get the cost down to $52,000.00. Still a hefty amount, but way better than $78,000.00.
Throughout the summer of 2017, money was raised until in August, 2017, we reached our goal. Ed Murphy was at a local golf outing supporting OSF Children's Hospital when he received a call from Andrew Rand, CEO of Advanced Medical Transport. At that time, we were about $3,000.00 short of the $52,000.00 needed to finish the project. Andrew rand and AMT stepped up and made a huge donation of $3,000.00 to put us over the top. That is the type of people we have in this community supporting our cause.
ANGELS IN HEAVEN
Thank you everyone for your support. As soon as the Press Box dedication is completed on May 17, 2018, we will upload videos and photographs of the Press Box and the event. Nick Murphy is smiling that big Nick Murphy smile in heaven right now. Thank you so much.