Mary Beth Curry remembers fondly the brother who would have turned 23 on Jan. 7. But she doesn’t need a birthday, or a milestone moment, to remind her of the brother she adored.
She remembers him every day in the work she does as the director of the Trey Curry Foundation, which was established in her brother’s name just two days after his untimely death on March 1, 2008.
Born Clifton Conrad Curry III, the second eldest child of Clif and Terry Curry went by the name Trey, “because he was the third and my grandfather wanted to distinguish between them all,” Mary Beth Curry, 27, said.
“He was just very loveable,” Curry said about her oldest brother, who attended Tampa Catholic and graduated from Newsome High School in 2006. He was enrolled at Hillsborough Community College at the time of his death.
“Trey always wanted to help other people," his sister said. "Anything he could do for someone else he would do it, whether they were a friend or someone he barely knew. He’d do it for them before he’d do it for himself."
The Web site for the Trey Curry Foundation notes that "during his short life, Trey struggled with learning differences. Throughout his schooling experiences Trey always had that extra push and helping hand from adults as well as his peers. We believe that is what fueled his desire to do for others."
Mary Beth Curry's earliest recollection of Trey’s giving personality, she said, came when he was in the first or second grade. “If there was a kid who didn’t have someone to sit with he’d go over and sit with him,” Curry said. “If someone was new to the school, he’d be his friend, and he always adopted multiple groups of friends.”
As a family, she added, her brother Trey was the one on family trips who would keep his parents, his sister and their brother, Colton, now 19, amused.
“Whenever we were traveling together Trey was always our source of entertainment,” Mary Beth Curry said. “We could always count on Trey to lighten the mood.”
Trey Curry was found dead in his bedroom in the early morning hours of March 1, 2008, after attending the Brandon Rotary Club’s annual Wild Dame Night with his father and family friends the evening before. He had fallen from his bed. No cause of death has been reported and Mary Beth Curry has nothing to add.
Her focus now is on using the foundation to help people in the way her brother would have respected.
“There are certain moments that bring it out more,” she said about the times that make her think about her oldest brother. “Since I run the foundation, I see his name every day and I constantly am doing stuff with his memory every day.”
She honors that memory, she added, “by constantly working and trying to keep his memory alive and doing things that we think he would be proud of us doing, whether it’s the toy drives we do, the endowment at HCC, or at the North Brandon Y, teaching people to swim and supporting the summer program.”
The aim of the foundation moving forward is to pick and choose those charities and causes that otherwise might fall through the cracks, Mary Beth Curry said. “One year one group might really, really need help, but the next year be okay," she added. "And so then the next year we can transfer the bulk of the money to another group that needs it that year.”
According to the Trey Curry Foundation page on Facebook, the foundation is a non-profit organization founded in Trey Curry's memory "to help the children in need in the Brandon area."
“All three of us were raised in Brandon and Valrico,” said Mary Beth Curry, who moved to Brandon at age eight months. “My brothers and I, we all grew up playing baseball on the South Brandon Little League fields.”
All three Curry children attended also the Brandon Academy, where Terry Curry was a principal, and later the co-owner with her husband. The two have since sold the school, which continues to operate at 801 Limona Road.
A graduate of the Academy of the Holy Names and Florida State University, Mary Beth Curry spends her days now running the foundation.
“Right now we’re really looking at what other group we can pair with and there’s a lot of options there,” she said. “If we can team up with one other organization to really, really help one group, and then team up with another group that’s having a problem, that will make a higher difference.”
Online help for applying for aid is in development and, when done, will be posted at TreyCurryFoundation.org. In the meantime, requests for information can be emailed to MaryBeth@treycurryfoundation.org. Or call: (813) 655-0269.