NEWS May 16th, 2016

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New street sign unveiled for local hero

David Stickney immortalized as pillar of the community

BRIAN BAKER/TOWN CRIER IT'S OFFICIAL: Don Valley West councillor, Jon Burnside, joins Eric Stickney, the son of local hero David Stickney, in the renaming of Markham Avenue.

The final tip of the baseball cap was given to Leaside community hero David Stickney on May 15.

About 60 people hunkered under a small tent in the Gyro Mazda parking lot, between bursts of sleet, to celebrate the unveiling of the Stickney Avenue.

Previously it was Markham Avenue, the new name being approved in November, thanks in part to the keen observations of committee member Ann Brown. The 300-metre stretch from Airdrie Road to Laird Drive had no addresses on it — perfect for a new designation.

Remembering David Stickney, committee chair James LeNoury opened the ceremony with introductions, success and a poignant anecdote.

While driving home from LeNoury’s former Leaside High School with Stickney, the two men had waxed existential.

“Sticks turned to me and said, ‘I really haven’t accomplished much with my life’,” LeNoury recalled. “I said, ‘Are you kidding me? All of the people you have touched, and all the students you have influenced.’

“The outpouring of support and having everyone here today is just a testament of what an impact he had.”

The committee, featuring LeNoury and Brown, as well as Daryn Everett, Liz Everett, Sandy Creighton, Neil Anderson, Larry Hurd, Jim Wilson, Nick Mitchell and Jim Grant, also raised $15,000 for the Leaside Scholarship program at a fundraiser last September.

Every June, starting this year, one male and one female student will receive $1,000 each to go towards academics, as long as they meet the criteria of high grades in mathematics, are on a sports team and are involved in the Leaside community.

In addition to the scholarship a memorial bench was placed, in David Stickney’s name, at the foot of Cameron Crescent. It overlooks Talbot Park, a diamond he frequented as a baseball coach.

Councillor Jon Burnside lauded the committee for its commitment to keeping the teacher and volunteer’s legacy alive.

“My experience is a lot committees are formed, they go on for a couple of meetings and then they peter out,” he said. “Here we are today, a year later, and there’s a bench, a scholarship and a street renaming.

“That’s a testament to not only the committee but to the community that loved Dave Stickney.”

The elder Stickney’s son, Eric, echoed that sentiment, adding the hard work of everyone involved did not go unnoticed.

“It means a great deal to us,” he said.

“(My dad) did one thing really, really well for a very long time — he gave back,” Eric Stickney said. “He gave as much time as he could and helped as many people as he could. We’re all better for it.”

Once the ceremony was over, the gathering moved to the Leaside Pub to share warm stories of Stickney over cold beers.

One thought on “New street sign unveiled for local hero

  1. Joan Mills
    May 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Good for him! I did not know this gentleman, but was born in Leaside and attended school also!
    My Grandparents and my Mother were also Residents and I am very proud to say that I belonged there!
    I go back a long way and Hanna Road was my home.
    We need folks like this to make their mark.