The Foundation’s beginnings
While the Michael Mulhall Foundation was officially founded in 2015, it grew out of a scholarship fund at the University of Scranton created to commemorate Mike’s life after his passing in 2010. The scholarship fund began with the goal of raising $50,000 over 5 years, but due to an incredible outpouring of support, that goal was exceeded within a year, reaching $100,000 in under two.
Mike’s scholarship remains fully endowed, meaning the principal raised is invested and the proceeds of that investment are awarded to new scholars each year. The scholarship is awareded to students interested in following in Mike’s footsteps by pursuing a career in special education. 4 recipients have received the scholarship to date and this structure ensures that there will always be a Mulhall scholar at The University of Scranton.
Our founding in 2015-2016
With the scholarship fully endowed, Mike’s friends and family came together and decided to start The Michael Mulhall Foundation in 2015. Since Mike took a great deal of pride and enjoyemeny from his work with children with special needs at Camp Anchor each summer, we all felt it would be a fitting tribute to dedicate our mission to helping those same children and their families.
With a plan in place, 2015 was spent raising funds through some of the same event that previously funded Mike’s scholarship: a baseball game and a 5K run. We then capped off the year with the first of what would become our flagship event: The Purple Tie Stakes. Since our mission of assisting children that have special needs involves a high degree of complexity, we established a partnership with St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children. This partnership allowed us to leverage St. Mary’s expertise to identify deserving families and then responsibly deploy funds to meet unmet needs of those families.
With the funds raised from our 2015 events, in 2016 we built 3 wheelchair ramps for patients of St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children while also purchasing a custom mobility scooter for one of the children
In 2017, we repeated the same formula that worked in the prior year. In addition to growing our partnership with St. Mary’s, we expanded to working with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Long Island’s Share The Voice.
Funded by increased donations and revenues from our 2016 events, we were able to finance 13 different projects ranging from custom wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, mobility tricyles and custom stairlifts for families across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In 2017, we completed the process of becoming a recognized 501c3 organization while also seeing The Purple Tie Stakes continue to evolve into a truly special event, with an increased number of enthusiastic participants.
We are happy to report that 2018 was another record year for The MMF, with 20 projects financed for various families. These included mobility tricycles, strollers, and several wheelchairs and ramps that required extensive customization. These also included smaller projects, such as the purchase of a special set of utensils to give a child the independence to eat on his own.