The Children’s Home is a special place. It is a place where children are given an opportunity when something tragic happens in their home. The Children’s Home does its best to offer the kids everything that a family would offer them, and the Murphey Award is one of those things that bridges that gap in so many ways.
The Murphey Awards began in 1980 as a means to encourage self-discipline, healthy competition and sportsmanship. Anna and David Murphy, Jon Parsons, Jack McElroy and Marshall Schroeder were part of the original group that began the tradition. Sam Teresi was the Recreation Coordinator for the inaugural events.
“The Courage to Try” was added in 1987 in memory of Recreational Director Robert Tobin who coined the phrase as the motto for the Recreation Program. The children are winners because they have the courage to try. Murphey Awards Competition is the longest standing tradition at the Children’s Home.
On July 15, 2015 the closing Ceremonies commenced for this years events. The Children were able to take part in events such as Kickball, Track, Crafts, Basketball, Swimming, and Essay Writing. These different activities help the children in many different ways. One of them is to teach them how to work as a team, another is to have them understand how to be supportive of one another. Sometimes we are let down in life, but we need to find the strength and courage to get back up and continue. These children are learning these valuable skills and handling them in a mature healthy manner so that they can apply those skills in their future to create greater success.
The children had some very special guests that came out to celebrate with them at the Awards Closing Ceremonies. Ian Beckles, a retired right guard from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was in attendance and spoke with the children for a bit, handed out awards, and also stayed for pictures with all of the children that participated. It is not everyday that children are able to personally interact with a Professional Football player, and the kids were enjoying every minute of it.
Anther special guest that was in attendance was Sgt. Taylor Urruela who is the co-founder of VETSports. Taylor was injured while serving in the Army in 2006 when his Humvee was struck by a roadside bomb severely injuring him along with others inside the vehicle. Taylor was able to overcome the odds and works hard everyday to give back to the community along with other Veterans. Taylor shared his story with the children and how the loss of his leg does not stop him from achieving his goals. This was Taylor’s second year attending this event and some of the kids remembered him and came up to him giving him hugs and posing for pictures.
Two health coaches from Herbalife were also special guests that were in attendance sharing their stories as well. In total there were 36 children that participated in the activities that started on May 16, 2015. All of this would not have happened without the support of BB&T Wealth, D’lites Ice Cream, FIS St. Petersburg, Rotary Club of Carrollwood, Ian Beckles Foundation, T.Rowe Price, Harvey & Cheryl Adams, Greystone Healthcare Management, CapTrust, Suncoast Credit Union, TECO, Mosaic, VETSports, Rotary Club Trinity, Premier Players Sports Foundation, Women’s Club of Hunter Green, Lux Picture, Tampa Community Hospital, The Saunders Foundation, along with all of the other volunteers that put in hard work to make all of this happen.