If you live in or around Canton, OH, you know all about Canton McKinley High School. It is one of the most storied football programs in the country and their stadium has been used for the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game. It is tough to imagine, but Fawcett Stadium underwent renovations this past year and the newly minted Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium now seats 22,500 fans. 86 year-old band and community-enthusiast, Jane, has been reading about all the renovations in her local paper, the Canton Repository. Her wish was to go back to her alma mater and see the newly remodeled look of the field that she used to march on back in the 1940’s.
Jane is one of 3 sisters, and they all had the musical gene passed down to them from their mother. Each sister picked up an instrument and played for Canton McKinley’s high school band. Jane, the youngest of the 3 sisters played the flute, her sister Dorothy played the clarinet, and her late sister Selina played the trumpet. Playing under the Friday night lights of the famous Fawcett Stadium were dear and special times for Jane and hold some of her greatest memories from high school.
On October 18th, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale were happy to send Jane, as well as some of her family members and friends, back to Canton McKinley for a special day. From her seat overlooking the McKinley band’s private practice, Jane marched and clapped to the Canton McKinley fight song and was able to chat with the Superintendent of Canton City Schools who came along for the celebratory reunion. Later, she was given a custom embroidered sweater from the school, toured the stadium, and even took in the view from the rooftop. As Jane said, “You get married, you have kids, you wind up living on a farm and you don’t have time to get to do these things.” It was definitely a very special day for Jane to relive her memories of playing on the field and see her former band play from an audience member’s perspective.
Special thanks to Canton McKinley High School for putting together such a special day for Jane and her family.
Photography by: Distraction Photo