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Lyndhurst Football Coach Carries On Legacy of Friend, Former Teammate

The third annual Jimmy Guirland Memorial Beefsteak Dinner will take place May 19 at San Carlo in Lyndhurst. Photo Credit: Facebook
Jimmy Guirland (back row, center) and Rich Tuero (front row, far right) played baseball together at Lyndhurst High School. This is a team picture from 2002. Photo Credit: Facebook
Jimmy Guirland, Rich Tuero and Steve Batista. Photo Credit: Facebook

LYNDHURST, N.J.– Richie Tuero of Lyndhurst remembers the phone call clearly.

His best friend and two-sport teammate, Jimmy Guirland, suffered a brain aneurysm and died in his sleep just two days after Christmas in 2010. He was 25.

"I was devastated. It was awful," said Tuero, a physical education teacher and head LHS football coach. "I never really lost anyone close to me until Jimmy."

Soon after, Tuero approached his friend's parents, telling them, “We’re going to keep his memory alive.”

This gave birth to the James R. Guirland Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has since raised nearly $10,000.

On May 19, the fund's third annual Memorial Beefsteak Dinner will take place from 6-10 p.m. at San Carlo catering hall in Lyndhurst.

Guirland was "a well-liked kid with a lot of friends," said Tuero, 31. “The support has been astronomical”

The plan is to give out two $500 scholarships to township high school seniors. Applicants must have worked with special needs children, like Guirland did, Tuero said.

Tuero isn't alone.

Playing integral roles are Guirland's parents, Joanne and Ron; sisters Nicole and Jackie; Anthony Alessi; Adam D'Alessandro; Maura Finn; Ronnie, Christina, Breonna and Gavin Guirland; Natasha Montalto; Koriann Tuero; and Lauren and Anthony Turiello.

Tickets for the dinner are $60 and include an appetizer, unlimited beefsteak and sides, dessert, beer, wine, and soda. A cash bar will be available. There will also be raffle prizes and a 50/50.

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