Basketball Tournament to Help Victims of Domestic Violence

October 21, 2014

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage is encouraging Mainers to lace up their basketball shoes this November to support children affected by domestic violence. November 2 marks the 6th Annual Taylor Tip-Off Tournament, which is an event to raise money for youth who have lost parents by acts of domestic violence.

Governor LePage joined the Maine Athletic Club and members of Maine Swish basketball at the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta as he proclaimed November 2 as Taylor Tip-Off Awareness Day in the State of Maine, which encourages Mainers to participate in this year’s tournament.

Held each fall since 2009, the Taylor Tip-Off basketball tournament has raised more than $90,000. One hundred percent of the proceeds have been donated families impacted by domestic violence in Westbrook, New Gloucester, Winslow, Old Town and Dennysville, Maine. This year, tragically, there are more children event organizers would like to support.

“The terrible tragedies these children have endured are unthinkable,” said Governor LePage, “but we cannot let these tragedies ruin innocent lives that have been caught in the middle of a family’s worst nightmare.

“It is awe-inspiring to see families, friends, and communities support the Taylor Tip-Off tournament year after year. I wish there was no need for a fund such as this, but it gives us reason to work harder to eliminate domestic violence as a society.”

The Taylor Tip-Off was started in 2009 by Mark Leclerc of the Maine Athletic Club (MAC) and the Maine Swish basketball team. Kenny Taylor was the assistant coach of Maine Swish and his then 14 year-old daughter, Kaylee Taylor, played on the team. In April of 2009, Kenny took his own life after murdering his wife, Belinda Taylor in their Westbrook home. The murder-suicide happened in the morning – six hours later, Kaylee and her then 12 year-old sister, Kiana, returned home from school and discovered their parents. There was no life insurance and no savings account.

"Governor' LePage's support for the Taylor Tip Off last year resulted in our best event ever. Goes to show how working together for a common cause can be so effective. His presence again today, even with his very busy schedule, proves his commitment to end domestic violence."

For the first two years, money raised through the tournament provided financial support to the Taylor sisters. In 2011, the Taylor Memorial Fund was established, which supports other children across Maine who have lost their parents to domestic violence.

Thomas Warren CEO of the Kennebec Valley YMCA emphasized the importance of community through teaming up with others to make a positive difference. "Our mission at the Kennebec Valley YMCA is to strengthen our community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Collaborations with organizations such as the Taylor Memorial Fund allow us to connect with our community and serve as a resource for families in need of a safe and nurturing environment. We're happy to continue supporting their event and to work together to fulfill this need within the state of Maine," said Warren.

For more information about this year’s tournament visit: http://taylortipoff.org/TaylorTipOff.org/SCHEDULE.html .