Leasiders come together in teacher’s memory

The Leaside community came out in force for the Remembering David Stickney fundraiser on Sept. 26.

Over 100 people purchased tickets to the event held at the Leaside Pub on Laird Drive, to commemorate the “civic-minded” Stickney, who died in May while doing what he loved: coaching baseball.

A dozen of Stickney’s closest friends organized the get-together to raise money for three projects: creating a community scholarship for students, placing a memorial park bench or plaque in a suitable location and renaming Markham Avenue in Leaside to Stickney Way.

Full details are not known, as the committee has yet to talk to city hall.

Emceeing the event was committee member Jim Grant, who coached baseball with Stickney for 25 years. He said the organization is trying to get charitable status so it can start the scholarship.

“Dave did a lot of work that nobody really knew about — he used to shovel the steps of the football field at Leaside,” Grant said. “He was a very civic-minded guy. So, some guys got together, and said let’s keep his memory alive and perhaps we could do a scholarship in his name.”

Committee chair James LeNoury said he is hoping the money raised is put into a memorial.

“He was a guy who had so much of an impact on the kids and the community that people felt they wanted to have this opportunity and recognize him — raise some money,” LeNoury said.

Once a student of Stickney’s, LeNoury was mentored by the teacher, especially in his Grade 13 year.

“When I had some other life decisions to make, he was the guy who I went to talk to, and he helped me make some decisions,” LeNoury said.

Also in attendance were Howard Birnie, president of Leaside Baseball Association, former Toronto Blue Jays team physician and MLB closing pitcher Ron Taylor, and realtor Patrick Rocca.

David Stickney’s son Eric, daughter Irene and wife Janet were also on hand. Eric said he was touched by his father’s friends coming together.

“It’s great to see, months after his passing, people still celebrating his life or fundraising money in his name,” he said.