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Georgiana was BG's top cheerleader

Commentary

March 3, 2013
The Altoona Mirror

The Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic High School family lost one of its best cheerleaders with last week's passing of Joan Gooderham Georgiana.

While a student at BG, Joan was a member of the cheerleading squad. After she graduated in 1980, she never stopped cheering - especially in the role of wife of former head football coach Marty Georgiana, mother of Adam, loving daughter of Dick and Elayne Gooderham, super mother-in-law to Amy and proud GiGi to Jesse and Nicolas. She was a wonderful aunt, sister and friend to hundreds of BG graduates.

In 2007, I met Joan for the first time.

We worked as teammates on the Marauder Family Festival Committee. Joan was a leader. She kept us organized. When Joan put on her glasses, she meant business. Her organizational smarts, spreadsheets and canny way with words inspired me to work harder at the tasks I was given.

But there was something more: Joan's drive was infectious. She knew what drove each of us on the committee and utilized her business sense to get us to respond to what was needed to make the event a success year after year.

All this was because she cared so much about her alma mater and its students.

In my reflection back to those times, Joan's actions and words had an impact on me and the role I wanted to play in supporting the future of BG students and athletes.

While Joan had a very busy job in central technology at M&T Bank, she made the time every year to share her talents with BG.

Five Marauder Family Festivals have raised approximately $175,000 for BG athletics, and Joan and I forged a new friendship.

More important than the money that our team raised, was the example that Joan set for others. Joan's life, although cut short, had many chapters and will continue to inspire me and many others through her example of excellence, diligence and dedication to the causes that she believed in.

Tara (Nader) Wood

Altoona

Paterno contributions still stand

As a response to the article "Vigil planned to honor Paterno one year later," is it not fair to say that Joe Paterno's name has forever been soiled after all he has done for the Pennsylvania State University over the 46 years he coached there?

Paterno made Penn State football what it is today, and people tend to forget that because of the one mistake he made. Putting him on a pedestal all of these years only made it harder for people to accept what he did.

Trying to change the past is not only impossible, it is unnecessary. Paterno's record of 409 victories was taken away from him as a form of punishment. Nobody can take away all the hard work he has put into his team over the years.

In reality, everyone knows that those wins still belong to him.

It is wrong that those who were not directly involved in the scandal suffered needless consequences as well as Paterno himself.

The team itself was banned from playing in any bowl games for four years, was fined $60 million and suffered scholarship cuts. How is it correct that those boys are being punished for something that they took no part in and had no idea about?

The Paterno family faced similar consequences, and was treated very poorly, along with dealing with the loss of a loved one in the meantime.

Should one mistake overlook all of the great things that he has done over the years?

Emilee Junker

Pittsburgh

(The writer is a student at Penn State Altoona.)

 
 
 

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