Family, friends, colleagues and co-workers of the late Dr. David J. Newton held a ceremony recently at the Marian Stadium to officially dedicate a new bronze horse statue, horse-shaped fence and fitness center in his memory.

To honor Newton's fighting spirit, student athletes passing by the horse will be encouraged to reach out and touch it for good luck and motivation.

Dr. Newton was a star football player for the Marian Colts and ran track during his high school career.

Later in life, he was drawn back to Marian Catholic High School, becoming the team's physician and supporting the school.

Newton died at age 41 in 2006 after an automobile accident.

A gastroenterologist, Newton also owned and operated the Carbon-Schuylkill Endoscopy Center in Lehighton.

Now, through efforts of a group of friends, his Marian legacy will live on.

The group, which includes Bruce Balliet, Mike Bellizia, Ralph Richards, Jeannie Rutch and a few others, has also created the Dr. David J. Newton Memorial Fund, an ongoing charitable arm of the Big Blue Athletics Council, to honor Newton and perpetuate his energetic and generous spirit.

Participating in the dedication ceremony were Jeannie Rutch, Big Blue Athletic Council; Jim McHugh, Lil Colts organization; Stella Newton, Dr. Newton's mother; Sister Bernard Agnes, principal; Ginny Newton, Dr. Newton's wife; and many others.

Those wishing to become involved in the projects are asked to contact Ralph Richards at (570) 778-6283, Balliet at (570) 885-4046 or Rutch at (570) 668-3575.

"I'm happy they are having this memorial for David because it's for the children, and for the whole Marian community, not just the athletes, and he was always interested in that," Newton's mother said. "I'm sure he would be well pleased with what they've done."