Meet Ryan Mullins
He's a Philanthropist.
It was while sitting at a table with a group of friends that the question was first raised….”how do we pay tribute to Chris?” Chris Mansey was the friend they had just laid to rest at the all too young age of 30. The original idea was to establish a fund to raise money to buy a park bench to place close to Lake Ontario. But because of his love for family and friends, another idea was suggested. Why not have a golf tournament to bring together his love for the game of golf with that of his love for family and friends and supporting the hospital as an expression of appreciation for Chris’ care.
And this is where Ryan Mullins enters the story. Ryan and Chris met while attending high school at C.D.C.I. East in Cobourg and soon after became fast friends. Even after graduation they stayed in touch and would get together over a game of golf, or to go rollerblading, or to just hang out. Family and friends were devastated when Chris was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 26. Throughout his illness and during the final months of his life, Ryan stood by his friend and this involved daily visits to the Palliative Care Unit at Northumberland Hills Hospital where Chris was a patient.
Ryan tells me that he has a reputation for being “an organizer” so it was only natural that he would lead the charge in organizing the first-ever Chris Mansey Memorial Golf Tournament. The inaugural event on August 31st, 2008 was held – quite fittingly - on the one year anniversary of Chris’ death. Proceeds in the amount of $5,000 were donated to the NHH Foundation to support the care of palliative patients. When Chris’ brother-in-law Mack arranged for two tickets anywhere WestJet flies to be added to the tournament as a raffle item, the event grew even bigger and raised even more money.
This past August the 5th annual event took place bringing the cumulative total to an astounding $60,000. Without Ryan’s leadership, this simply would not have happened. Ryan, a Correctional Officer for Central East Corrections, and the father of two young children, Braxton 5, and Skyla 2 is an inspiration. And he doesn’t just volunteer for the hospital. Ryan’s coached for 12 years with the Cobourg Community Hockey League and he’s also volunteered with the lacrosse league.
“I know how challenging organizing special events can be,” says Rhonda Cunningham, Executive Director of the NHH Foundation. “They take up a lot of your time and with a busy young family and all their activities to contend with, I find it refreshing to meet someone like Ryan who is so committed to remembering his good friend while also supporting the hospital.”
Ryan is quick to point out that he has help. Chris’ family is so supportive with his mom Lorraine taking responsibility for the WestJet raffle. Ryan’s own family and friends are always willing to help too and of course the many businesses that donate to the auction and prize table play a key role. “My wife Allison puts up with a lot from me for months before the tournament, so I can’t forget to acknowledge her,” says Mullins.
Ryan – the entire hospital family thanks you for your outstanding support!