When major renovations were nearly completed for the football stadium at the Riverside Institute of Technology, the Buffalo Board of Education asked the public for suggestions on whose name to put on the stadium.
Dingboom was the longtime football coach at Riverside, known as a strict disciplinarian and beloved by countless students and athletes there. Even students who did not play football for him offered strong testimonies.
One of them wrote in an e-mail supporting naming the field after him: "Although I did not play football for Coach Dingboom, I did, however, take his physical education class and knew him occasionally through my four years at Riverside. Anyone who knew him or participated in sports with him were all better for it. He gave us all an example of character, integrity and honesty. Charles Dingboom is an historical icon for Riverside High School."
Now in his eighties, Dingboom is fighting Alzheimer's disease.
The other candidate put forward to have the stadium named after him was Sgt. Frank J.A. World, a Riverside grad who was killed in Afghanistan this spring, leaving behind a wife, young son and baby girl. He was 25 years old.
After graduating from high school, World joined the Marines in 2003. He was deployed to Iraq for a few years, until 2008. This spring, he was sent to Afghanistan.
Two months later, he was killed when his light armored vehicle was hit with an explosive.
His brother, Larry, told a reporter: "My brother was solid in his faith and firm in his beliefs, so there is no doubt that he is our angel up above watching down on us."
Board members recently were saved from having to choose between two worthy nominees for the naming of the field at Riverside. The World family graciously suggested that the board name the Riverside stadium after Dingboom, and the pavilion after World.
At 6 p.m. Friday, both the stadium and the pavilion will be dedicated.