Donna Murphy "Friends of #44" Reunion Benefit

On Saturday, January 17, 2009, our community will come together for a special event honoring one of the area's most treasured sports legends, Donna Murphy, a graduate of Newport High School and Kentucky's first Miss Basketball. You may have heard that Donna recently underwent a life-saving liver transplant and now faces a number of extreme challenges. While she is doing well, it is time for the "Friends of #44" to give back to Donna as unselfishly as she has given to our community over the last 30 years.

As such, a "Friends of #44 Reunion" will be held at The Syndicate in Newport, Kentucky, on January 17, 2009, to bring together friends, neighbors, teammates, coaches, colleagues and other Donna Murphy supporters for a night of food, fun and entertainment while raising money to offset medical expenses.

At this time, we are seeking contributions in the form of cash donations or items for inclusion in a silent auction to be held at the event. All donations are tax deductible (EIN26-3775091). Checks should be payable to Donna Murphy's Reunion Benefit and will be accepted by Fifth Third Bank, 467 Monmouth Street in Newport or collected by an event volunteer.

Please consider being part of this special night. To learn more or confirm your participation, contact Jim Cutter at (859) 781-6924 or

Thank you,

The "Friends of #44"

About Donna Murphy: Donna led Newport High School to its first and only appearance in the girls' Sweet Sixteen state basketball tournament as a junior in 1975 and was awarded the Ted Sanford Award as the tournament's Most Valuable Player. A first-team All-State honoree, Donna averaged 35 points and 20 rebounds on her way to being selected Kentucky's first Miss Basketball as a senior in 1976. Donna was Captain of the first Kentucky All-Star team to face off with their Indiana counterparts in the popular Kentucky-Indiana All Star Game series. Donna accepted a basketball scholarship to Morehead State University where her retired '44' jersey now hangs and where she was twice named the Ohio Valley Conference 'Player of the Year'. After graduation from MSU, Donna was drafted by the Women's Basketball League, predecessor of today's WNBA, where she played for the St. Louis Streak. Donna is a member of six Hall of Fames including the Kentucky Basketball Hall of Fame.

Donna was a member of the coaching staffs at the University of Cincinnati, Memphis State University, the University of Florida, the University of Kentucky and her alma mater Morehead State University. She formed the first women's intercollegiate basketball program at Asbury College where she was at the helm of the program for 11 years. In addition to being an experienced coach, instructor and skills trainer, Donna is a professor and counselor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky. She is active within the community as a mentor for numerous young women on and off the court. Last spring, she wrote a grant that was funded to support a mentoring program for at-risk girls enrolled at the Lexington Traditional Magnet School for 2008-09.