The Nicholas Morelli Memorial Fund kicked off October in the giving spirit thanks to their 5th Annual Memorial Cup. The event, held October 3rd, featured the Sens-Asianz and Hotz hockey teams battling it out on the rink, as well as opportunities for patrons to win door prizes and participate in a silent auction.
Angela Morelli wrote that the fund is a way to honour the life of Morelli’s brother, Nicholas. “The fund was created in 2011 after my brother Nicholas died in a tragic accident at the age of 24. Nicholas was a plumbing apprentice with the Hamilton Plumbers Union- Local 67. Nick was a very special person that touched the lives of many. He was an upbeat, witty, family oriented, caring, intelligent person who was known for his warm smile and welcoming personality.”
Morelli said her brother was a part of two hockey teams and those teams play in his honour in the memorial. “[T]hose teams play against each other at the event as friends, family and community members gather to watch, take part in a silent auction, enjoy each other’s company and honour Nicholas’ memory. The event takes place at a local arena and restaurant – The Mohawk 4 Ice Centre/Lookout Lounge.”
“The fund makes charitable donations to local causes with a focus on education, physical literacy and inter-city youth. The fund has raised over $60,000 prior to this year’s event,” said Morelli. “Recent contributions from the fund include: a Mohawk Eternal Nicholas Morelli Memorial Scholarship in the faculty of Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship in association with Local 67, funding free workshops at Hamilton schools through the Hamilton Youth Poetry Slam and supporting the HARRRP summer camp offered to youth free of charge.” A complete list of donations can be found here.
The memorial’s committee utilized the power of Facebook to get the word out about their event. “Each year we sell tickets to the event. Our committee members (friends and family) sell tickets and attain silent auction donations – I create a letter about the event for the committee members to give to prospective companies,” said Morelli. “We also have a Facebook page and website with information about the fund and upcoming event. It is important to continually post updates about the event as well as information about how we have impacted the community i.e. thank yous. We also promote auction items and draws (we had a draw for 2 round-trip flights to anywhere from West Jet). “
“It is worthwhile to spend the time filling out application for donations to large scale companies!” she said. “We have also used the local news as a way to promote our fund and the event.” The local news gave a report on the anti-bullying campaign that was created by the fund and inspired by Nicholas.
The money raised from the event is more than enough to positively affect the community. “The event was a success! We are still currently tabulating the totals but we have at least raised $10,000. Every successful year means we can continue to impact the community and keep my brother’s memory alive.”
The day was a special day for family and friends to remember Nicholas and the happiness he brought to others. “Each year we take the time to share our thank yous and reflect on what makes life meaningful. My dad is an amazing speaker who always captures the crowd,” said Morelli. “We share some tears and smiles, thinking about Nicky and the good we have been able to do through this mutual effort.”
If you’re planning a similar event to Morelli’s, she has some tips on making your event a success. “Establish a reliable network of people to help you and meet with several times prior to the event. Maintain relationships with those who donate. A thank you goes along way. I hand deliver thank letters and certificates to local companies who have donated.”