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Home field advantage

Friends, team rally to aid coach in need

May 5, 2008
Holli Sunderland
LEWISTOWN — Frank Eward Sr. won’t be able to run down the sidelines on the football field with the Derry-Decatur Cyclones this year.

After recently suffering a stroke, the volunteer coach for the peewee football team has been forced to take a timeout while he faces an extended recovery. Additionally, the unexpected emergency has created a financial strain for his family.

That financial need has led the Friends of Derry-Decatur Cyclones to schedule a spaghetti feast in exchange for donations to help keep Eward and his family afloat.

“Frank’s been a coach for the Derry-Decatur Cyclones for seven years, if not more,” said John Force, the assistant coach for the team.

“He had a major stroke, and he’s now going through rehab. We’re just trying to help the family get what they need,” Force said.

The hospital stay has kept Eward out of work from his position at Empire Kosher. His wife, Mary, also has taken time away from working at Red’s Diner to help with her husband’s recovery.

The couple also has two teenage sons living at home: Steven, 14, and David, 13.

“The main reason we’re doing this is because Frank would do this for us. His dedication is top notch; his heart and soul is in those kids,” Force said.

“Maybe, if this taught the kids the proper way to do things in life, like he taught them on the football field ... maybe they can take this lesson that when someone is down, we all come together like the team,” he continued.

With hope in the home-field advantage, the Friends of Derry-Decatur Cyclones are holding the all-you-can-eat benefit spaghetti supper at a cost of $7 a ticket, and children age 5 or younger can eat for free.

The supper will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Decatur Fire Co. cookhouse, located along U.S. 522 near the Alfarata Road intersection. Advance tickets for the meal may be purchased by calling Danielle Force at 994-9358.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
A spaghetti-dinner fundraiser is scheduled to benefit the Eward family of Lewistown, from left, front, Steven and David; back, Mary and Frank Sr.



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