Building named for Dylan Thorne
By Holly Neumann
A locker room in memory of a former Iola-Scandinavia High School football player killed by a drunken driver will soon be a reality at Thunderbird Field.
Erickson Builders and the family of Dylan Thorne broke ground Aug. 5 in Scandinavia for the new Dylan John Thorne Memorial Locker Room.
Thorne was killed July 19, 2012, on County Trunk E near Ogdensburg. Heather Schmidt pleaded no contest last year to homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle in connection with the accident.
“We’re really excited that we are able to begin construction of the locker room,” said Liz Thorne, Dylan’s mother. “It’s been a long time coming and we still have a long way to go, but I know we will reach our goal.”
The family has raised $88,000 of its $150,000 goal.
“Currently we have no changing or team rooms for halftime at Thunderbird Field,” I-S School District superintendent David Dyb said. “It is a privilege for the district to work with the Thorne family on this project and a special way to honor Dylan, who had a love of football.”
Contractor Stuart Erickson, one of Thorne’s football coaches, said he is honored to build the facility.
“It’s going to be a nice building,” he said. “It will really stand out here.”
The block building, which will be located at the north end of the field, will feature locker rooms for home and visiting teams.
“They will have two privacy rooms in each them with two showers areas,” Erickson said. “The showers are the most expensive part and will be put in at a later date once more money is raised.”
Erickson said it will take some time for the block work to be completed.
“That will be the longest part of the job and it all depends on the weather,” he said. “I am hoping that they will be able to use it toward the end of September.”
Funding for the locker rooms comes from the annual Dylan Thorne Memorial Ride and other donations.
“A lot of planning, hard work and determination goes into our ride every year,” Liz Thorne said. “With the help of our dedicated members, volunteers and donations, we try to put on a ride that people will enjoy. We want people to have fun and come back the following year and maybe bring some friends. The majority of the money that has been raised has been raised through Dylan’s ride.”
Donations can be sent to Iola-Scandinavia School District, c/o Football Locker Room Project, 450 Division St., Iola, WI 54945. All donations are tax deductible.