David Minning has long been passionate about two things: soccer and science. On Tuesday night, people from those areas of his life came together to recognize Minning’s contributions to both.
Between the Richmond Hill girls and boys home soccer games, Minning and his family took part in an "early" senior night for his son Matthew — a sophomore on the boys team — as David has been diagnosed with cancer. David’s wife Monica, their youngest son Michael and David’s mother, Susanna Finn, also participated.
"That was a tremendous honor," David said. "I’ve always enjoyed working in the community and soccer and STEM education are two things I care deeply about."
Jimmy Burnsed, former chairman of the Bryan County Board of Commissioners, said Minning, former president of the Richmond Hill Recreation Association, is "the type of person every county recreation department wishes they had."
John Melcher, a science teacher at Richmond Hill Middle School, said Minning was instrumental in getting a STEM program started at the school.
"David is the person who introduced me to 3D printing," Melcher said. "I left school at 5:30 and the kids were still there working. That’s how much they enjoy it."
Minning, a Detroit-area native and Gulf Stream engineer, was able to secure the same 3D printing software for RHMS as the one used by the aerospace company.
"We’re probably the only middle school in the country using it," Melcher said.
Minning said that as Bryan County grows and attracts more industry, the schools will have to make sure to provide a well-qualified work force.
"It’s important that our students are prepared, whether they want to go into a technical field or skilled trades," he said.
To that end, Monica Minning told the crowd Tuesday that a STEM-focused scholarship in David’s name is being created at Richmond Hill High School starting in 2018.
Finn, David’s mother, said she was "thrilled and touched" to see so many people show up to support him.
"Church friends, neighbors, coworkers," she said. "He has impacted so many lives."
The captains of the boys soccer team also said the squad is dedicating this season to Minning. Representatives from the Richmond Hill Soccer Club and Savannah United also recognized David’s contributions to youth soccer in the area.