Hoops tourney returns to aid domestic violence victims

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FALMOUTH — A basketball tournament that began as a way to help three sisters cope with the loss of their parents has grown to benefit children across Maine.

The fourth annual Taylor Tip Off tournament takes place Nov. 4 to benefit children across the state who have lost their parents to domestic violence.

The tournament was created in 2009 after the assistant coach of the Maine Swish AAU basketball team – the parent of one of the players – killed his wife and himself. The team rallied around the their teammate Kaylee Taylor, and her sisters, by creating the tournament.

“It was devastating to the team,” said Cathy Evers, who coached the team at the time. “Kaylee was their teammate and her dad was their assistant coach. We decided to start the Taylor Tip Off to benefit the sisters.”

In its first year the Taylor Tip Off tournament raised $13,000 for the Taylor sisters. But after two years of donating all of the money raised to the Taylor family, the Taylor Memorial Fund decided to change the beneficiary.

After the original group of girls went away to college, Maeve Larrabee and her teammates on the Falmouth High School basketball team took over organization of the tournament.

“(We wanted to continue) because it’s for a good cause,” said Shannon Page, a member of the Falmouth team and the Taylor Tip Off organizing committee.

Emma Powers, another member of the team, agreed.

“It brings the community together and has everyone working toward a goal,” she said.

This year, money raised by the tournament will benefit the same two families it did last year.

The 12 children, who receive $2,000 each, like the Taylor girls, were left without parents because of domestic violence incidents and are now living with their respective grandparents.

The tournament will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at two locations, Falmouth High School and Thomas College in Waterville.

Larrabee said that 80-100 teams are expected to compete and the goal is to raise $10,000 to donate to the two families.

Amber Cronin can be reached at [email protected] or 781-3661 ext. 125. Follow her on Twitter @croninamber.