To the Editor:
Everyone remembers their favorite teacher or the coach that was the best to play for. On Aug. 31, Lakeland Athletic Boosters honored two pillars of the Lakeland community. No, they weren’t a licensed teacher nor an official coach – they did both in a different capacity. They did teach a lot of young people about dedication and coached/cheered many athletic teams as a volunteer and a fan.
Grant Phillips had one son, Michael Phillips and three stepsons, Kerry McCann, Tim McCann, and Todd McCann, who are all alumni of Lakeland sports programs. During their middle and high school years and after their graduation, Grant Phillips donated many hours to the Lakeland athletic programs. Grant spent many Friday nights on the football field as a statistician and photographer. He also timed events at track meets during the spring of the year.
Ivan Burger was a Lakeland School Board member for eight years. He was a father of three children, Fred Burger, Linda Burger, and Susan Burger, who attended Brighton and Lakeland schools. He was also a grandfather and great-grandfather to many. Several of them participating in sports at Lakeland. He attended many athletic events as a proud parent, grandparent, and great-grandparent. He and his family donated a large American flag to be flown at the football/track area at Lakeland High School.
So in loving memory of Grant Phillips and Ivan Burger, Lakeland High School has a new enhanced flagpole and base at the football/track area. Their legacy shall live on for many years.
We wish to thank the Phillips/McCann family for the memorial donations, the Burger family for the flag donation, and the community for their donations to help make this project a reality: Phil Dyball of Burr Oak, Mich.; Jim Fanning; Robert and Sandra (Ramsey) Fanning of Elmhurst, Ill.; Pete Hochstetler of Pete’s Construction; LaGrange County REMC; LaGrange Monuments; Lima Elevator; Sons of the American Legion Post 215; Don Brown and Larry Cushing, Lakeland Grounds/Maintenance crew; and Lakeland School Corporation.