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Pyne Needles
            by Ed Pyne, Publisher
SEP 15 2016
‘The Dean’ is a legend 
On Saturday, Sept. 3  I attended the John Snyder Roast and Toast at the Bloomington Country Club to honor one of the greatest basketball coaches. John “The Dean” Snyder of Holy Trinity and now Central Catholic High School appears a little rough around the edges, and you could say he is our answer to Don Rickles,  but actually he is a big teddy bear.
He was roasted by his friends who had everyone in stitches laughing at some of the stories about Coach who was very successful with three trips to the State Finals at the Assembly Hall in Champaign. A basketball historian, he remembers it all. Neighbor and friend Tom Nelson drove him to Florida on vacation once and Coach started with a game in the 1950s and Tom said, by the time they reached Champaign, Coach was only in the second quarter!
Coach said Tom was “no big shot at State Farm. His muffler fell off of his station wagon in our driveway with the kids screaming in the back seat, and he was out there wiring it up. Some big shot,” Coach laughed.
Other speakers included Rep. Dan Brady and Sen. Bill Brady, who presented him with a proclamation from the state legislature.  Players who spoke included Bobby Moews and Blaize Bujaski.  Pontiac legendary coach Jack Murphy and WJBC announcer Don Newberg took their turns and emcee Dan Swaney got into the act.
The best though was Sandy Snyder, his wife of 56 years. She knew he was going to propose marriage during their college days, but he needed a drink he told her. They went to the Rojo in Kappa. She remembered he flipped her a box and said, “I suppose you want this.” Then, she had to follow him into the Rojo! A friend asked if she said “yes” and she said “he never asked.” But, you can tell they are in very much in love today.
I am really going to try this time and get some pictures in next week of the Snyder family. And, I will tell Coach’s side of the engagement story.

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SEP 1 2016
Defibrillators for small towns 
Sally and I attended the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation's benefit dinner and auction Saturday night at the Double Tree Hotel in Bloomington. The annual event, now in its 12th year, is unique in that the organization raises money to buy life-saving defibrillators for McLean County. Last year "Stayin' Alive" event placed 19 additional defibrillators in county sheriff's patrol vehicles and LeRoy's first responder vehicle.
This year IHLF will purchase AEDs for Anchor, Arrowsmith, Bellflower, Chenoa (2), Colfax, Cooksville (Fire), Danvers, Heyworth, Hudson, Lexington, McLean, County Sheriff, Saybrook (Fire) and Stanford.
Time is crucial in getting emergency responders to an accident or a situation in the smaller communities where a patient will die unless they are shocked back to life. 
Saturday's benefit honored family physician Dr. Bill Neil of Bloomington who collapsed after exercising and wasn't responding.  Staff members Mary Beth Burger and Mike Shea at The Four Seasons had a defribillator on hand and used it until paramedics arrived. Finally, after some anxious moments Dr. Neil's vital signs came back and he survived. Without the AED he probably wouldn't have made it.
We'll have more on the benefit next week.


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