On May 3, Danny Ward of Ballston Lake went in for routine spinal surgery that has a success rate of 95 percent. He died a day later of a massive heart attack at age 54.
On Saturday, Sept. 26, the community of Ballston Lake will honor the beloved native son with the Danny G. Ward Memorial Old Fashioned Field Day. Ward's tragic death is bringing the Burnt Hills, Ballston Lake and Glenville communities together to raise money to purchase and install a digital scoreboard at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Football Field. Whatever funds that are left over will go toward starting a scholarship fund in Ward's memory.
Danny was born in Burnt Hills and went to Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake high school. He was on the football team back in high school and started working for us in 1982, said Rosemary Carney, an owner of Carney's Tavern in Ballston Lake.
Ward tended bar there for 27 years, up until the time of his death.
"His family always lived in Burnt Hills. He owned a home on Ballston Lake, and he was always very much a community guy," said Carney. "He supported everything."
Carney said Ward was also an avid runner and president of the fire department for years.
"Danny was a very kind person. Since he died, we've found out about different things he did. He helped people who were going through cancer and a lady who was sick with a brain tumor. He was just a very wonderful person " very handsome and outgoing. It's just fitting that the whole community is coming out for him," said Carney.
The party will feature music, including lots of Irish music and bagpipers throughout the day, with several bands, including The Free Wheel'N, Alan Payette Band, Boothill Band and Get Down. There will be entertainment and activities for children, games and drawings. Food and drinks will be available for sale from noon until 11 p.m. A $10 sirloin steak dinner, including baked potato, corn, salad and a roll will be catered by Michael Maloney of the soon-to-be rebuilt Charlton Tavern. The steak dinner will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Representatives from the Center for Donation and Transplant New York will be on hand with information about their programs, since Ward was an organ donor.