Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Basketball Court Honors St. Mark's Educator

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Basketball Court Honors St. Mark's Educator

Article excerpt

Byline: Cindy Holifield & Sandy Strickland

To Patty Gordon, the playing field at St. Mark's Episcopal Day School was a special place. For 22 years, she taught physical education at the private Ortega school and spent much of her time on that field.

Gordon, 48, died of a blood clot in June. Her family requested that memorial gifts be given to the school to build the Patty Gordon Basketball Court.

"This basketball court was a dream of hers forever," school spokeswoman Ilene Hackett said.

The court was dedicated Friday in her memory.

It had been a concrete slab with a couple of rickety hoops. Now it's a regulation-size court with an acrylic surface coating and six hoops.

In addition, the track that encircles the field and whose surface had eroded over the years was repaved with funding from the Durkee Foundation, Hackett said. The Berg Family Playfield also was newly renovated.

She said the renovations totaled about $120,000.

"Now it's a beautiful area that's really great for outdoor sports and physical education classes."

At the dedication, Will Wheeler, a member of the Clay County Sheriff's Office Pipes and Drums, led students on a ceremonial first lap of the track.

Here's more good news:

- The Community Nutcracker danced to the tune of $40,000, which will be donated to local charities in a presentation at Dreams Come True of Jacksonville, the Nutcracker's featured charity, on Wednesday. Funds were raised during the 21st annual production at the Florida Theatre in December. Other beneficiaries are Community PedsCare of Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, We Care Jacksonville, Sanctuary on 8th Street, St. Mary's Episcopal Outreach, Jacksonville Speech and Hearing Center and Second Harvest Food Bank.

- Seven families affected by multiple sclerosis recently had their homes cleaned, painted and small repairs made by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's North Florida chapter staff and more than 65 volunteers. …

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