9:15 pm: As the rest of New York learns more about the tragically brief life stories of Jamie and Paige Malone and Michael Mulhall, the devastation only grows deeper. The three friends, killed in an auto accident on the Meadowbrook Parkway on their way to work Thursday as counselors as Camp Anchor, symbolized the very pride of Long Island.
Run by the Town of Hempstead, Anchor is a camp for the handicapped that is open every weekday in the summer and hosts evening programs in the winter. More than 700 children with special needs attend each summer. They learn to swim and about art and music and dance. They go on day trips to the movies and the Bronz Zoo and the circus. Anchor counselors, as Jamie, Paige and Michael were, start at age 13. Those judged to be among the best after three years are offered a staff position for minimum wage.
A father of a youth counselor – whose children were friends with Michael and the Malone girls – wrote Point Blank over the weekend. “No one who works at Anchor does it for the money,” he wrote. “They are an incredible bunch, these kids. They are a tight-knit group who spend all day working at the camp and then spend their evenings planning the nexy day’s activities. These are the cream of the crop of Long Island youth. They have the biggest hearts in the world.”
Many of the youngsters who work at Anchor do so in honor of siblings who are handicapped. Today, we learned a little more about Michael Mulhall, whose funeral is Tuesday in Floral Park, from a young girl named Kelly N. To give you an idea of the threads that run through Camp Anchor, Kelly is a triplet. The brothers born with her have Autism. This is what Kelly had to say about her friend Michael, a passionate Islanders fan whose life was cut short on the parkway on Thursday morning.
Mike lived for hockey and the Islanders. It was the one thing beside Anchor that he was passionate about. He was a good player. He played at Chaminade. In college, he played at Scranton and lived with the club hockey team in an old colonial house that they patterned after Animal House. He was so full of life. And now he’s gone. He would have been thrilled that Islanders Country remembered him.
Michael Mulhall, who left us at the age of 22, is not going to be forgotten.
His family has requested that donations be made in his memory – where else? – to Camp Anchor. The program has created the Anchor Building Fund with hopes of constructing a building so it can take care of those with special needs year-round. For a life-long Islanders fan like Michael, who will no longer get to see his favorite Islander, John Tavares, play again, here’s a chance for Islanders Country to remember him.
If you are in position to send anything, let them know your donation comes from a fellow follower with Michael of the Orange and Blue and send it in the name of Michael Mulhall to:
Camp Anchor Building Fund
630 Lido Blvd.
Lido Beach, NY 11561
Thank you for the consideration. Comments are welcomed.