By Paul Post`
The Saratogian – May 19, 2009
WILTON — Maria Dailey remembers raising money, with tears in her eyes, for her late son Christopher’s memorial gymnasium — overwhelmed by the sheer size of the effort.
On Monday, surrounded by friends and well-wishers, she and her husband, Mark, celebrated finally paying off the debt on the recreational facility, located at Wilton’s Gavin Park.
The annual Christopher Dailey Golf Tournament, held at Van Patten Golf Course in Clifton Park, netted about $15,000 — enough to pay for the gym with plenty to spare.
“I just can’t believe we did it,” said an elated Maria Dailey.
“I didn’t think it would happen this quick,” Mark added. “Now we can move on to other goals. We’re making a lot of contributions to a variety of organizations.”
The Dailey Foundation, with a seven-member board of directors, is already supporting youth sports such as soccer, lacrosse, baseball and hockey, even synchronized swimming. It also helps kids attend summer camps, and next month for the first time ever it will give a $1,250 scholarship to a deserving Saratoga Springs High School graduate.
Mark Dailey said he wants to help two types of recipients — economically disadvantaged youths, and groups that help children with special needs. “I think we can do some really good work with those two things in mind,” he said.
Donations will continue to be earmarked toward sports programs in the Saratoga Springs area.
Christopher Dailey was an active, 8-year-old sports enthusiast when he died suddenly on Nov. 23, 2001. His parents and friends formed the foundation just over a month later.
Groundbreaking for the gymnasium took place in August 2005 and the structure, which thousands of children use each year, opened on March 2, 2006.
Nearly 125 golfers took part in Monday’s tournament, one of two major fundraisers held each year.
“We still have supporters,” Maria Dailey said. “After eight years they still come.”
“Today is a big day for us,” he said. “We’re going to be able to do bigger things now."