The football scoreboard on Frank Jameson Field was replaced Sept. 10 thanks to donations from the Girard Fallen Trojan alumni group, and a recognition ceremony will be held Sept. 27 during halftime of the Girard-Southeast varsity game.
The new scoreboard is completely wireless, larger and more visible than the previous one and operates in the same manner, so no additional training is needed.
Along with the scoreboard, two play clocks have also been added to the field.
It was apparent last year that the old scoreboard had some difficulty functioning after approximately 20 years of use. The outdated machine's circuitry was in bad condition and not reliable.
Replacement was already being considered by the USD 248 Board of Education when John Lehman, of the Fallen Trojans, approached Superintendent Blaise Bauer at the group's annual golf fundraiser June 15.
Discussions ensued, and the Fallen Trojans offered to pay for a new scoreboard for the football field, which is used by GHS and GMS athletics.
Regarding the donation, Mr. Bauer said, "On behalf of USD 248, I would like to sincerely thank the Fallen Trojans for this most generous act. This scoreboard will provide years of service and enjoyment to district students and patrons, and we very much appreciate this group stepping up to provide these improvements."
The Fallen Trojan organization is known for hosting local fundraising events to provide scholarships in honor of deceased USD 248 students and staff.
Founding members include GHS graduates Bob Zettl, John Slavin, Roger McCracken, Mike Carpenter, John Lehman and Steve Wutke. There is no "official" membership, and others volunteer their help with programs.
Regarding the group's origin, Mr. Lehman said, "The Fallen Trojans began as a few friends playing golf each year the Friday before the Craig Crespino Memorial Trojan Golf Tournament. When a member of our group died, we wanted to honor him and other deceased classmates and started the Fallen Trojans."
At first, the group mainly hosted athletic events or fundraisers because they were "lettermen" when they were in high school. However, their mission has now expanded.
According to Mr. Carpenter, "As group participation increased over the years, more organization and events took place. Eventually, the group started gaining more funds and started donating regularly to USD 248."
The recognition ceremony will be held Sept. 27 during halftime of the Girard-Southeast game, which starts at 7 p.m. At the ceremony the founders will provide a description of the Fallen Trojans.
As part of their current fundraiser, the group is providing an opportunity for community members to donate to their foundation in the name of any friend or family member who attended Girard schools.
The loved one's name will be engraved on a plaque, which will be placed on the football field at a later time. More information regarding this will be provided at the ceremony.
Community National Bank, Exchange State Bank, First National Bank of Girard and Girard National Bank have also donated funds for new basketball scoreboards for the GHS and GMS gymnasiums, which will be installed at a later date.