Donations in Mr. G's memory yield new baskets in school gym

The fund established in memory of longtime teacher and coach John Girard had received more than $22,000 in donations as of last month, Norwich Recreation Director Jill Kearney Niles reported. Almost half of the money has already been put to use, with the $10,000 purchase and installation of two side baskets in the Marion Cross School gymnasium, which already bears Girard's name.

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Kearney Niles is consulting with Girard's widow Cathy and their daughter, Lauren Adams, on how to spend the money. In her monthly report, she wrote that the Girards "were confident that John would have loved to see (the) two new side baskets."

The baskets were installed last week. It's great, Kearney Niles said, to have them in place for the upcoming basketball season.

Girard -- known best as Mr. G -- taught at Marion Cross for 46 years, coached generations of youth baseball players, and remained a fixture at the school after his retirement. He died on Aug. 12 from a brain injury suffered in a bicycling accident. He was 79. 

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