Miracle Makers: Mike and Becky Fahy
Outstanding Commitment by Grateful Parents
Kelsey Fahy was born at 2 lbs., 9 ½ oz., to Mike and Becky Fahy. Kelsey was born at 30 weeks gestation and spent 46 days fighting for her life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Golisano Children’s Hospital the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Now 5 years old, Kelsey is healthy, adorable and the apple of her parents’ eyes. The Fahys, who also have a 20-month-old son Garrett, have never forgotten the experience they had at Golisano Children’s Hospital. In fact, every year, they become more invested in the place that helped save their baby girl.
“We’re constantly looking for more ways to give back,” said Mike. “We’re just ecstatic about the care that Kelsey received and we’ll never be able to repay the NICU for that, but the events offer a great way to help give back.”
Three years ago, Mike and Becky, who both work at Nazareth College decided to tap into the rivalry games between “beaked” college basketball teams, the Nazareth Golden Flyers and the St. John Fisher Cardinals. The Fahys modeled the fundraiser after the wildly successful Rainbow Classic, which takes place annually between Pittsford Mendon and Pittsford Sutherland high school basketball teams.
Since then, the Battle of the Beaks has been extended to include a set of basketball games at St. John Fisher and Nazareth, student-athlete semi-formals at the two colleges and a student-run Winter Walk for Strong Kids. The family-friendly Winter Walk, which debuted this past February, attracted more than 150 participants and raised $3,100 for Golisano Children’s Hospital.
“The students do a great deal of the work under Mike and Becky's strong leadership,” said Kim McCluski, Golisano Children’s Hospital board member. “It had been exciting and fun to watch the Battle of the Beaks take on a life of its own.”
The set of events has brought in more than $43,000 over the years and perhaps more importantly, enthusiasm that started with the Fahys has rubbed off onto student athletes and continues to grow.
“Almost all of Nazareth’s student athletes have been involved in the children’s hospital’s fundraising events in some way or another,” said Becky.
Many student athletes have been empowered to start their own fundraising initiatives to help pediatric patients. For example, one of the men’s basketball players that Becky advises decided to get the team to ask for sponsorships to donate to Golisano Children’s Hospital for every 3-pointer the team makes each game. The team donated nearly $300 last season alone.
“When you meet the Fahys, you can’t help but like them,” said Bob Jacobson, Golisano Children’s Hospital board member. “They’re great. We are truly fortunate to have this sincere and dedicated couple using their talents to help us at Golisano Children’s Hospital.”
Mike and Becky are grateful for the Miracle Maker Award, but insist that it really belongs to the larger community of student athletes and administrative staff from Nazareth and St. John Fisher Colleges. “The students have put so much time and effort into these events,” said Mike. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”