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It was nearly a year ago that Duane Maranda mourned the death of Dick Beams, a mentor and former assistant coach. Maranda, New London High School's football coach, has made sure that Beams' life of helping kids endures.
One female and one male athlete from any school within the Eastern Connecticut Conference will earn the first $500 Dick Beams Scholarship this year.
"We want to set up a fund that's not just a couple-of-years thing," Maranda said. "He spent 46 years coaching kids. We want to keep his spirit going."
Maranda said guidance departments throughout the ECC should have the applications. Or prospective students can visit the web site, www.coachbeamsfund.com, or call Maranda at 860-625-6412.
Maranda said all proceeds from this year's summer passing leagues - on youth, high school and men's levels in New London - as well as a summer youth clinic will benefit the Beams Fund.
Beams died last May 6. He was the assistant girls' softball coach at East Lyme High School at the time. Beams also coached football with Maranda at East Lyme, St. Bernard ad Bacon Academy. He worked in New York and Florida for more than 30 years before coming to Connecticut.
Deadline for the applications is May 1.