Mike Murphy has built more than his share of commercial and public buildings in and around Bowling Green over the past four decades.
Now the CEO of local construction company Scott & Murphy Inc. is aiming to build something less concrete but maybe longer-lasting.
And it’s all for laughs.
Murphy will bear the brunt of jokes and stories told about him by friends and acquaintances Thursday evening at the National Corvette Museum in what he’s calling the “Murf Roast and Toast.”
The fundraiser for the Housing Authority of Bowling Green’s W.R.O.T.E. (We’re Reaching Out To Educate) program will begin at 6 p.m., with Warren County First District Magistrate Doug Gorman serving as master of ceremonies.
It will mark the return of a fundraiser that had been held annually until the 2020 event was canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceeds will help finance the after-school program and summer enrichment camp held at the HABG’s EnVision Learning Center.
Murphy said he is glad to be joining the ranks of such past roastees as Gorman, former State Rep. Jody Richards and real estate developer David Chandler.
“It’s a lot of fun for a good cause,” Murphy said. “I’m pretty good at laughing at myself, so it’ll be all right.”
Murphy said being chosen to be roasted forced him to learn more about the Housing Authority’s after-school program.
“When he (HABG Executive Director Abraham Williams) called me to do it, I took an afternoon and spent it there,” Murphy said. “I’m glad I did.
“It’s a mentally healthy place where kids are having fun but learning as well. A lot of them are teenagers who have been going there since kindergarten. It’s a good experience for them.”
Lindsay Hinton, a Bowling Green attorney and member of the W.R.O.T.E. board of directors, is glad to see the roast return after being held virtually in 2020.
“We did not raise the funds that we normally would,” Hinton said. “We raised enough to keep the doors open.”
Keeping those doors open is important, Hinton said.
“This (HABG’s after-school program) is not a playground,” Hinton said. “This is true educational support for both the city and county schools.
“It’s a great place for kids, but it can only operate by having community support.”
Murphy has been asking for that support in the form of donations, sponsorships and the $65 tickets to see him get roasted.
In a letter he sent to friends and colleagues asking for support, Murphy called giving to the W.R.O.T.E. program “an investment.”
“It is an investment in changing the way people live generation after generation and a possibility to escape to a better way of living and learning,” he said.
HABG Education Director Oshkea Carothers said this year’s fundraiser is doubly important because of the impact of the pandemic.
“All children are behind now due to COVID-19,” Carothers said. “It’s very important that we continue our programs. Our goal is to make sure our kids have the same experiences as other children who don’t grow up in a public housing environment.”
– More information about the “Murf Roast and Toast” can be found by calling Carothers at 270-467-7153.