Avondale Yellow Jackets Remember Graduate with Special Dedication

High School honors member of Class of ‘71

This football season marks the 44th year gone by since Sharon Manni cheered at an Avondale Yellow Jackets game. In 1971, when she graduated from Avondale High School, Manni was a cheerleader, on the student council and crowned homecoming queen. Nine months ago, she passed away after a painful struggle with cancer. Her memory though, lives on.

Through the generosity of the Avondale graduating class of 1971 and to honor Manni’s spirit and love of cheerleading, a bench now sits near the sidelines at the Avondale School District Dick Bye Field with a plaque inscribed with her name.  During the Avondale High School 2015 Homecoming game last week, the crowd – including several members of the Class of ’71 – cheered as the announcer dedicated the bench to Manni and remembered her life and years as a Yellow Jacket.

Members of Sharon Manni’s family and friends from the Avondale Class of ’71 dedicate her bench

Members of Sharon Manni’s family and friends from the Avondale Class of ’71 dedicate her bench

“My mom loved to talk about her days in Avondale, reminiscing about cheerleading, remembering her friends – she loved that time of her life,” said Manni’s daughter Chelsea Wirth. “That’s why it’s so fitting that her class donated this bench in her name.” Wirth and her sister Taylor Bordeaux were both on hand for the dedication along with other family members and some of Manni’s closest classmates (pictured at right).

Avondale School District Athletic Director, Keith Gust was happy to help when he received the request for the dedication. “It’s special that Ms. Manni carried her Avondale memories wherever her life took her and that her family recognized how important that time of her life was for her. It says a lot about the Avondale community and the kind of experience we give our kids. We hear from alumni all of the time,” Gust continued, “they’ve moved on and they’re doing great things but they still feel a strong connection to Avondale.”

For Sharon Manni, that connection is represented by a bench, purchased by people who remember and love her and who want to see her connection continue.

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