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Lisa Sweeting Memorial Scholarship Cornhole Tournament is Sept. 25 at Baldwinsville American Legion – Eagle News Online

LEFT: Rachel Sweeting designed this T-shirt with her mother’s catchphrase: “Have a joyful heart. TOP RIGHT: Lisa Sweeting, left, was a beloved teaching assistant in the Baldwinsville Central School District. She died suddenly in 2020. Her family is holding a cornhole tournament Sept. 25 to raise money for a scholarship in Lisa’s name. Lisa is shown here with her daughter, Rachel, and her husband, Douglas. BOTTOM RIGHT: The Sweeting family was very close-knit. Shown here are Rachel (with her boyfriend David), Heather, Lisa and Douglas Sweeting.
BALDWINSVILLE — Everywhere Lisa Sweeting went, children flocked to her.
“We gave her the nickname ‘Mrs. Claus’ because kids were just drawn to her,” recalled Lisa’s daughter, Heather Sweeting.
Lisa parlayed her gift for connecting with children into a 22-year career as a teaching assistant in the Baldwinsville Central School District. She spent most of those years at Van Buren Elementary.
Unfortunately, Lisa’s life was cut short on Nov. 5, 2020. She died suddenly at her Baldwinsville home at the age of 54.
“It was this random, freak thing with her heart,” Heather said.
Through their grief, the close-knit Sweeting family decided to honor Lisa’s giving nature by creating a scholarship in her name. The family is organizing the first annual Lisa Sweeting Memorial Scholarship Cornhole Tournament on Sept. 25 at the Baldwinsville American Legion to raise money for the scholarship.
“She would want this to be her legacy to help out children to make sure they got their education,” said Heather. “We’ve had some time to process it and now we’re trying to do something good out of her death.”
Heather said her mother was “born to help people.” Her students especially benefited from her generous spirit.
“She would spend her own money for clothes, for snacks, for school supplies. She always made sure they had what they needed,” Heather said.
Lisa was “one of the most perfect moms,” Heather recalled. She was always there to talk and could tell if something was bothering her daughters — Heather and her sister Rachel — even before they knew what was bothering them. Lisa kept on her daughters about staying healthy and active, but she would also treat the girls to Dunkin’ using the gift cards her students gave her.
“Every time I flew back home, she would have tons of presents for me — things I needed or things she thought, ‘Oh, that’s so Heather,’” Lisa’s daughter said.
At home, the Sweetings were a “normal, typical American family — kind of like the Tanners on ‘Full House,’” Heather said. The family was always outside playing games like bocce and cornhole.
“A few years back I bought them a cornhole set for their anniversary,” Heather said of her parents.
After Lisa’s passing, her husband Douglas moved to Florida, where Heather lives, for a fresh start. Both Douglas and Heather are registered dietitians. Rachel Sweeting still lives in Central New York, so she and her uncle, Chris Young, are spearheading the tournament.
Rachel has incorporated Lisa’s catchphrase “Have a joyful heart” into the T-shirt design for the tournament. It is based on a photo taken at Anna Maria Beach in Florida of Lisa framing the sunset with her hands in the shape of a heart.
“My sister’s really into graphic design, so she made this really pretty T-shirt. It has all these purples. She said it looks heavenly,” Heather said.
The Lisa Sweeting Memorial Scholarship Cornhole Tournament takes place at 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 (rain date Oct. 2), at American Legion Post 113, located at 8529 Smokey Hollow Road in Baldwinsville. Slots are available for 32 two-person teams; registration is $80 per team. The tournament format is pool play followed by a 16-team elimination bracket.
If you would like to register for the tournament or donate a raffle item, contact Rachel Sweeting at 315-373-3680.
Ashley M. Casey is the associate editor for The Baldwinsville Messenger and The Eagle Star-Review. She has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2014. She graduated from Le Moyne College in 2012 and previously worked for the Scotsman Press. Contact her at acasey [at] eaglenewsonline [dot] com.
Eagle Newspapers and Eaglenewsonline are divisions of Community Media Group, LLC. Our local offices are located at 2501 James St, Suite 100, Syracuse, NY 13206. You can contact us at 315.434.8889.
© 2021 Community Media Group, LLC – 2501 James St. Syracuse, NY 13206
© 2021 Community Media Group, LLC – 2501 James St. Syracuse, NY 13206
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