The Marty Brayman Kids Hockey Fund is looking for children to sponsor for this year’s hockey season. The Fund was created in memory of Marty Brayman, a North Grenville native and Master Corporal in the Canadian Armed Forces, who was tragically killed in September last year.
Marty was an avid hockey player in Kemptville ever since he was little, eventually playing on the Kemptville 73’s team and continuing into his time in the military. “It was a huge part of his life,” says Marty’s father, Joel Brayman. To honour his legacy, Marty’s family and friends set the goal of raising $32,000 to sponsor a child’s hockey career, one who might not otherwise get the chance to play the sport. To their surprise, in under a month they raised close to $50,000, with money pouring in from all over the world. “It was incredible,” Joel says.
Because they raised so much money so quickly, they decided to sponsor three kids to play hockey last year. Their goal is to fund a child’s hockey costs for several years, to make sure they feel supported and are able to get the full experience of playing hockey in Kemptville.
“For us, I think it’s psychologically really important for kids to know they have some support and that it’s not just going to end,” Joel says. “Marty played it for so long, and it was such a huge part of his life, we wanted to make sure we had that sort of longer-term view of how this would work.”
Since last year, the donations have continued to pour in, and the Fund has now raised close to $70,000 to help local boys and girls play hockey. Joel says they are in the middle of building a website; but, at the moment, people can apply for the sponsorship by emailing him directly at email@example.com. They are also still welcoming donations to the fund, and are even looking at setting up a subscription so people can sign up to donate on a yearly basis. “We’ve got a lot of things that are going to happen in the very near future,” Joel says.
Marty was loved by many and was one of those people who made friends wherever he went. One of Marty’s friends from high school, Krystal O’Farrell, described him as a gift. “He fit in with everyone, or if someone didn’t particularly fit in, he took it upon himself to make sure they felt like they had a friend,” she said in a message to Marty’s family.
Dan Corkery, one of Marty’s best friends, who is also involved with the Fund, says that it is the perfect way to honour Marty. He would love to see the Fund grow into something substantial that would be able to help kids play hockey while making sure Marty’s legacy lives on. “He would think it was really amazing,” he says. “Even if he was alive, he would have done what he could to get something like this going. It really is perfect for Marty’s memory.”
To donate go to www.chuffed.org and search The Marty Brayman Kids Hockey Fund.
Hilary Thomson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times