The goaltender, one of five finalists for the 2016 Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, plans charity events in his hometown of Scituate, Mass.
Being a two-time nominee for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, presented by BNY Mellon Wealth Management, is a special honor and one that is not lost on Babson senior goaltender Jamie Murray.
He is remarkably modest about the achievement and put into context his successful local philanthropy as creating fun events for friends and family that benefit those in need in the community.
“It all started after my senior year in high school when I knew I was going to play junior hockey before college and had time over the summer,” Murray said. “My neighbor Cole suffers from a rare kidney disorder (Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis), which put a lot of pressure on his family — especially financially — and we just wanted to do something for him and his family to help out.
“I had played with some friends in a whiffle ball tournament before and it was a blast, so I thought, ‘I can do this for Cole.’ It was a great learning experience and a lot of work at first but I was committed to making it happen for Cole and it was a great event.”
The Cure for Cole Whiffle Ball Tournament in Scituate, Mass., is entering its seventh year, having raised more than $31,000 for its primary beneficiary Cole Pasqualucci, who also has taken on local celebrity status and is a hot commodity as a playing teammate for the event.
“It’s a great time for everyone involved,” Murray said. “Cole is now a senior in high school and works for his own landscaping company. He is awaiting another kidney transplant and has dialysis at home each night. He is just a great kid.
“Every year he plays on a different team and he has really become a local celebrity. It is great to see how the tournament has grown. We have been asked to create a junior kids division for 9-10 year olds. It just keeps getting bigger and better and everyone loves to play. We have about 250 players a year so we are well over 1,000 that have played, and every year we seem to get more new players contributing to the cause. I love playing in it, too, and won it one year so as long as I can continue to support the event we will keep playing.”
The whiffle ball tournament was just the beginning for Murray, who quickly got involved in helping another friend out with a roller hockey tournament that fed off years of local community interest at the Scituate facility.
“The roller hockey tournament was really about a cause [Boston Marathon victims] combined with an easy venue and strong local interest,” Murray said. “We used to play at the roller rink every Sunday and there were tournaments there growing up so the interest was really great to combine for a good cause.”
The events have raised more than $10,000 for the Boston marathon victims fund and other funds picked annually as worthwhile charities and recipients of the proceeds.
“These things aren’t things I do for any kind of recognition,” Murray said. “The honest truth is I have as much fun playing in these events as I do planning them. And seeing that the proceeds all go to worthy causes and beneficiaries just makes it that much more rewarding. I could never do these alone. There are so many people that help out to make them happen and be successful.
At the end of the day, these are great events for great people and supported by people that care and want to give back to the community and friends and families in need.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Murray’s most recent charitable event took place on the ice — a charity hockey game that changes focus and beneficiaries each year.
Some of the ties have been to connections from his hometown of Scituate, while still others have been connected to Babson hockey, where Murray has played for four years and achieved great success and recognitions. He’s been the ECAC East player of the year, an ECAC East all-conference selection and a 2015 All-American in addition to winning the 2015 Joe Concannon Award recognizing the best American-born player in New England at the Division II/III level.
“We played a ‘camo’ game at Babson to recognize charitable opportunities for our military veterans, and that is what planted the seed for a charity ice hockey game,” Murray said. “The first year was a memorial tournament for a local friend, Patrick Falaro, who had passed away, and this past year it was for Corey Griffin, who played at Babson and was a big fundraiser for ALS before tragically dying a couple of summers ago.
“Changing the beneficiary of the event every year keeps it fresh and interest high and gets more people involved in the planning as well as the game itself.”
So far, the ice hockey events have raised more than $8,000 and the totals look to be continuously going up at least for the foreseeable future. Recipients have included the Pine Street Inn (a Boston shelter) and the Town of Scituate Recreation Department. In addition, proceeds helped donate a bench in Falaro’s honor at the Scituate lighthouse, a place where many go to enjoy the magnificent ocean views and walk along the jetty guarding the entrance to the town harbor.
“I really hope that I will be playing hockey somewhere next season after graduating from Babson,” Murray said. “That means I will continue to have time during the summer available to continue having these events. Everyone in town and surrounding communities look forward to all of the events, and I really enjoy the awesome day that each has become in their own way. I love planning them and of course have a blast playing in them.
“It is a great feeling to know the money raised is helping out others, made more special by spending the day doing something fun with friends and family in the local community — it really doesn’t get better than that. As long as I can, I am going to continue to do these events not just for the fundraising but bringing people together for a great day, great cause and most importantly great fun.”