DANSVILLE — It was an emotional night in Dansville Friday as the Button family shared a tribute to the late Kyle Button with the unveiling of a plaque that will hang in Dansville's hallowed "Wall of Fame" forever.
It was a fitting tribute.
Kyle Button's contributions to this community and the lives of youngsters in the area will live on forever. His wife Lynn, son Matthew, parents Tina and Paul were all part of a touching ceremony prior to the Mustangs game with the Avon Braves.
My hats off to whoever wrote the prologue for this stirring and well-deserved commemoration.
"On Jan. 21, 2015, Dansville lost an inspiring member of our faculty, coaching staff and community. A Dansville graduate, Mr. Kyle Button, was a 5th grade teacher, football, basketball and baseball coach, as well as lending time and talent to many other areas of all of our schools and community.
“A dedicated teacher who continually strived to establish a special relationship with each of his students. A true professional who respected veteran teachers, guided less experienced teachers, and worked each day diligently to bridge the gap between the two. A passionate coach who worked with athletes at the modified, junior varsity and varsity levels of competition. Coach Button was committed and dedicated to the success of all Dansville Mustang students and athletes at all levels.
“His devotion to the Dansville community is a reflection and tribute to his parents Paul and Tina Button. The natural love for his son Matt, a fine young man in his own right, a testament to Kyle's love of his wife Lynn and commitment as a father. The immeasurable people who call him friend, a statement of his integrity.
“The battle he waged against cancer, a reflection of his tenacity as a competitor ... never making excuses or asking for sympathy, has had a profound effect on all who encountered Kyle. Tonight, the Dansville athletic department wishes to accept a presentation from the Button family in his honor as a permanent reminder for those of us who were privileged to know Kyle and a testimonial for future school and community members.
“We now ask head basketball coach Dave Moodie and this evening's special guests, Kyle's wife Lynn, his son Matthew, and Kyle's parents Paul and Tina Button, to present the plaque from the Button family, recognizing Kyle's contribution to the Dansville community in his memory. This plaque will be permanently displayed in the athletic Wall of Fame hallway, outside the gymnasium where Kyle spent countless hours working with our youth."
Young Matt then pulled a Dansville Mustang banner from the tribute to unveil a nice picture of his dad sitting in his coaching chair on the basketball sidelines during healthier days. The plaque reads: “Kyle J. Button July 28, 1984 - January 21, 2015. I have fought a good fight, I have finished the game. Devoted father, husband, son, brother, coach, teacher and friend."
Simply stirring! Upon a rousing round of applause, little Matt (a real "chip off the old block" for sure) pumped both fists in the air (certainly inspired by Kyle's everlasting Dansville spirit) shouting out "Go Mustangs!"
Trust me, there wasn't a dry eye in the house! Thank you God for Kyle, the Button family, and all the memories that will continue to live on through one outstanding young man, a gentleman I had the privilege to see grow up, mature and touch the hearts of so many.
Kyle J. Button!