Crown Pin Foundation

The Crown Pin Foundation has been in existence since the inception of Niagara Healthcare in the 1950’s.


On a brisk winter day in January 1954, several hundred people attended the opening of the Fairyland Clinic in Meadville, Pennsylvania… a warm, friendly place, designed to delight the hearts and captivate the imagination of little children. No-one who attended
the Clinic that day had any idea that later on it would provide the inspiration for a dozen magazine articles, three network television shows and hundreds of radio, television and newspaper interviews – but it did! Mr. Owen K. Murphy, the founder of Niagara Therapy Manufacturing Corporation in 1949, transformed an old mansion on Park Avenue into the fantasy-like surrounding that Dr. Ed Connor (co-founder of Fairyland Clinic) had always wanted for the many exceptional children who were brought to him for help.

From his own personal experiences, Dr. Connor knew how frightening the cold, sterile, white tile atmosphere of the average hospital or clinic can be to a child. He knew that the tension built by the atmosphere could often offset the value of the treatments being given there. Together with Owen Murphy, a man of great generosity and compassion, he spent months in 1954 planning the Fairyland Clinic …. a place of total informality, bright colours and relaxing toys big enough for children to climb into ….. a place where play and therapy are so intertwined that they are inseparable.

Owen Murphy not only had the therapeutic equipment which could be helpful in such a Clinic but he also had the will, the desire, the generosity, the imagination and the foresight to see how all Dr. Ed’s ideas could be made a living reality.

The little children with exceptional problems are the real beneficiaries of the Clinic, of course, but through the years there have been many side benefits. In the Clinic much “seed” research has been done which has led to larger formal programmes of research
in other centres. The atmosphere of the Clinic and its pioneering in motivational therapy has been widely copied in other rehabilitation clinics throughout America. Its acceptance of entire family units as part of the therapy team made it one of the most comfortable and comforting places to be found anywhere. The care and the love they received made them feel a little more a part of the scheme of things.

Owen K. Murphy was one of the world’s greatest motivators. Perhaps Mr. Murphy’s personal philosophy of life accounts for this success more than anything else. He believed that all of life was a sharing process, that you can’t take out of  life without putting something back to balance the scale. In other words, you have to give to get a return from life and the more you give the greater you return will be.

He thought nobody should be satisfied just to make a good living for his family and himself but that each of us should help those less fortunate than ourselves. Mr. Murphy helped more people than any of us will ever know and his personal philosophy was the basis
of the founding of the Fairyland Clinic and the Crown Pin Club, which he subsidised personally for many years.

The Crown Pin Club continued with the Niagara staff, working tirelessly to raise funds and donate equipment to worthy causes.

Recent fundraising

It is now the aim of the Crown Pin Foundation (as it is now called) to offer support in terms of financial aid or donation of equipment to specific charities throughout a 12-month period.

In 2004/2005, the chosen Charities were Riding for the Disabled, Contact The Elderly and The Rainbow Trust and from 2006 until 2008 money from the Crown Pin Foundation went to help Simon Weston’s charity, Weston Spirit.

The Company also sponsored Aladdin, a horse at the Clwyd Special Riding Centre in Llanfynydd near Wrexham, where our Equissage equipment is also put to good use on the ponies after a tiring day being ridden by the disabled children and adults at the Centre.

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