Mason Dacanay wants to give back.
The former Payson High football and golf standout, who is a senior on the Arizona Christian University golf team, is trying to raise $3,000 to go on a missions trip to the Philippines to help people there in their recovery from Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,000 people in November.
Dacanay’s father is a doctor who had a practice in Payson before recently relocating to New Mexico with his wife.
“Growing up as a very privileged and blessed young man I believe it is time for me to give back and help others that are in need,” he said in a letter seeking donations to help fund the trip.
“With your support I will be able to go on this mission trip and make a spiritual difference and bring some joy to these people who have lost so much. This mission trip will not be easy, however I will be giving all my heart and love I have, your support will be very helpful and needed.”
His parents are from the Philippines and Dacanay has never been there. So, the trip would also give him a chance to connect with people and a land he has never known.
“I want to go to the Philippines for two reasons,” he said. “I want to help those in need. And also I feel that it would be great to go back to my homeland.”
He’s one of several ACU students signed up to take part in the mission, scheduled for June 15-July 4.
“There’s five girls, myself and a male teacher,” he said. “I need to raise $1,700 by the end of March. If I don’t raise that much by then, what I’ve raised will go into an account and I can go on the mission next year.”
Of course, he hopes to raise the money and go this summer considering the toll the typhoon took on the country. He plans to graduate after the fall semester with a degree in business administration with an emphasis on entrepreneurship.
“I will be helping with evangelizing with the people who have not yet accepted Christ,” he said of the mission. “I will also be there to help plant a church and help with the much-needed relief work. These people need help and I want to go help them.”
To make a tax-deductible donation to help him go on this mission, go to www.deltaministries.com and click on the Donate Now button. Under the Categories & Funds tab, choose Team Member Support. In the Comment Box enter Mason Dacanay and 20149023FS.
You may call him at (928) 978-0434 if you have any questions.
But he said he’s not just looking for money for the trip.
“If they can’t give financially, I’d love their prayers,” he said. “That’s just as important. That would be great, as well.”
His family moved to Payson from Chicago and Dacanay played two seasons on Payson’s varsity football team. He was a junior offensive lineman on the 2008 state championship team.
“It was the greatest experience,” he said of his time in Payson. “I got to make some of my greatest friends. It doesn’t always happen like that when you move to a new town. You don’t always make great friends and win a championship.”
But his two seasons on the varsity golf team were even more instrumental in shaping his life.
“I made some great connections in golf and got a scholarship from playing here,” he said. “So it’s kind of awesome.”
He’s in his fourth year on the ACU golf team. He won a nine-hole event last spring and also shot 1-under-par at a tournament.
He said his final season on the links hasn’t started the way he hoped it would.
“I didn’t have the greatest fall,” Dacanay said. “And the spring hasn’t been very good. I’ve been kind of going through a slump. But tomorrow’s always better — that’s what I think. The rest of the spring is going to turn around.”
He said playing golf at the collegiate level has been wonderful.
“It’s been a great experience,” he said. “I got to travel and meet a lot of people and get better, as well.”
He hopes to meet a lot more people in a different part of the world this summer.