shs header picture

 Tri-Town News August 7th 2008 
Classmates Organize Benefit
In Memory of Duane Gifford

SIDNEY - Duane M. Gifford, who served as the Highway Superintendent for the Town of Masonville, died unexpectedly on May 2, 2008, leaving behind his wife Jennifer and three young children, Dylan, Tanner and Bailey. Gifford, a 1988 graduate of Sidney High School, passed away just as he and his classmates were anticipating their 20th class reunion this August. In response, his classmates are planning the Duane Gifford Memorial Run/Walk, on Saturday, August 16, at Keith Clark Park in Sidney.

His classmates were inspired by the timing of the tragedy, and wanted to remember Duane with more than a passing comment at the reunion. Kim (Cornell) Gascon, also of MasonVille, said, "I knew Duane as a classmate, community member, and as a parent to one of my daughter's classmates." It was the strength of these ties that spurred his classmates to action.

"Being our reunion year, it is fitting for our class to take this opportunity, to not, only remember Duane, but also to help his family as much as we can. It is rewarding to see that after 20 years since Sidney High School, the Class of 1988 is rallying around this affort to support the family of a classmate." Adele (Greene) Harringttin said.

Classmates as far away as Minnesota and North Carolina and as near as his neighbors are planning the event as the kick-off to the reunion festivities. Julie (Dann) Thompson, of Eden Prairie, Minn., said, "To be able to put this event together for the benefit of Duane's family has given additional meaning to our 20-year class reunion. Reconnecting with classmates and working together on something this significant , has been a gratifying experience."

Added David DuMond, of Charlotte, N.C., "Duane's passing brought back a flood of memories about growing up in Sidney. These memories, and the values instilled by our parents, coaches, and teachers are the common bond between us. No matter who you are, where you go, or what you do, we all are products of a smalltown upbringing.

Therefore, organizing this event seemed to be a natural response to his passing." Kim (Cornell) Gascon agrees. "It has been nice to reconnect with old classmates as we worked together to support Duane's family in their time of great loss," she said.

The Duane Gifford Memorial Run/Walk will be, held August 16 at Keith Clark Park, in Sidney. Check-in and race-day registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. The 5K run and 1-mile walk will begin at 8:00 a.m. Registration forms are available online at Race-day registrations are also welcome


As Printed in the Tri-Town Newspaper