"Michael’s real passion was his love of sports. He actively participated in sports himself, often changing the rules along the way to benefit his needs. His favorite players were Bobby Orr and Gary Carter."
Everyone is set upon this Earth for a purpose. Michael Reid’s purpose in life was to live it, however short, to its fullest, ensuring along his way that he touched the hearts of as many people as he possibly could. Upon his death on 12 June 1984 at the tender age of 20, with his family and a close friend by his side, he could rest peacefully, as his goal was achieved. Michael’s approach to life while struggling daily with Duschenne Muscular Dystrophy, was a simple one. His caring personality, sarcastic wit and his determination to live the life of a “normal” young boy and then young man, gave people something to look up to.
Michael occupied much of his time at The Mackay Center where from September 1st, 1971 to the 12th June 1984, he studied, played, interacted with the students and also made momentous impressions on the teachers and staff.. However, it was on his Graduation Day from Mackay in 1984 that Michael passed away leaving behind many years of triumphs and sorrows. Two years previously, in 1982, Michael was awarded with the “The Prudence Baxter Award”. An honor which he was very proud of. Then, after his death, the school decided to have an annual dedication to be made at the Graduation Day Ceremonies to a student in the school who is outgoing, friendly, enjoys life, honest and is compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others and shows exceptional determination. “The Michael Reid Memorial Award” would then become an annual tradition and the presenter would be one of Michael’s family members.
During Michael’s early days at Mackay, he was chosen to be “Quebec’s Muscular Dystrophy’s Poster Child” for the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Michael, along with his family, traveled to the WPTZ T.V. Studio in Plattsburg, New York, to appear on national television. It was there, during an interview, that he expressed his dream of someday becoming a T.V. Sportscaster.
Passing time at home was not a problem for Michael. He could be found many times in front of the T.V. or listening to music. M.A.S.H. and the Carol Burnett Show were his favorite shows at that time. The Carpenters and Jim Croce could be heard regularly on the stereo. But, Michael’s real passion was his love of sports. He actively participated in sports himself, often changing the rules along the way to benefit his needs. Wheel Chair Hockey was his favorite activity, however, being a spectator of any sport was just as fulfilling. Michael was also found following his dad’s local softball team, keeping the stats on the players (often to their dismay), or going to the Montreal professional teams games like the Expos, Alouettes and Canadiens. His favorite players were Bobby Orr and Gary Carter. He was a very fortunate boy, for to his delight over the years, he had the opportunity to meet in person some of the great sports stars.
It was because of Michael’s love for sports that initiated his family and friends to want to continue Michael’s enthusiasm. The idea of an Annual Softball Tournament in his memory was the ideal. The Tournament would be held in his community - Greenfield Park, where many people knew him, and would be participated by the people who loved him most - his family, friends and The Mackay Center. To make things more perfect, all proceeds would go back to where he gained much support - Mackay. Since the first Annual “Michael Reid Softball Tournament” in August 1985, The Tournament Committee, many teams from Quebec and Ontario and the hundreds of volunteers have been able to earn over $850,000 for the Mackay Center and other charities.
Now this was right up Michael’s alley! Playing Softball and making lots and lots of money while doing it!!