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Dunning Gym Dedicated at Hillside
New Gym Honors Long-time Hillside Coach and Staff Member
About 400 community members showed up at Hillside Middle School on Saturday afternoon to see the school rename the gymnasium for Steve Dunning, a popular coach and staff member who died in 2013.
Takarra Dunning, Dunning's daughter, said she was very pleased with the turnout and that her father would have enjoyed the celebration. "There have just been a lot of memories shared." Everyone from former employees to Dunning's students and players came to visit during a reception and then stayed to mingle and cheer during a memorial basketball game. Funds from the admission will be used to create a fund for Hillside students.
Dunning taught at Hillside for more than 20 years before he died of a heart attack while playing basketball. Dunning grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated in 1984 from Kalamazoo Central High School, where he was a star on the school's basketball team. He went on to play basketball at Hillsdale College. He coached basketball and track at Hillside and was involved in many programs at the Douglas Community Association. He was also a respected referee in the area.
Takarra Dunning said the "question of the day," was whether the basketball game would turn into an annual fundraiser. She said that was still open for discussion.
Thank you to Maple Street Magnet School for the Arts teacher and coach Matt Covault for his photos of the event.