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Danny Murphy, front, with fellow alumni Bill Dow, left, his nephew Stephen Cassidy, centre, and athletic director Chris Huggan outside Colonel Gray Senior High School in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Nathan Rochford

The donors: The Murphy Family

The gift: Donating $125,000 and raising $125,000

The cause: Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown. To expand the school's Wellness Centre

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The Murphy family is well-known on Prince Edward Island for its many business interests, which includes owning 70 fast-food franchises, many of them Tim Hortons outlets.

But the Murphys also have a close attachment to Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown, which 24 family members have attended since it opened in 1966.

So when the school launched a fundraising campaign to expand its Wellness Centre for students, the Murphys didn't hesitate to get involved. "I thought, surely to God we can do something here," said Danny Murphy, 58, who went to the school along with his six brothers and one sister (16 grandchildren have also attended).

The family contributed $125,000 and plans to launch a campaign to raise another $125,000 from Colonel Gray alumni. The money will go toward expanding the Wellness Centre, which offers fitness and mental health programs for students.

Mr. Murphy said mental health issues in particular have become far more important to teenagers. The centre, he said, helps students "feel better about themselves."

The family is in the process of tracking down alumni and hopes to begin contacting them for donations later this summer. "This is easy to do, and you have to give back," he said. "It's a good, all-around thing to do."

pwaldie@globeandmail.com

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