Let Your Lovelight Shine at McMichael

Honor loved ones and keep McMichael Park beautiful with your Lovelights message.Eastfallslocal.Lovelights2006wPolaroid frame and textLovelights are back!  Now in its 17th year, the February tradition at McMichael Park celebrates loves of all kinds — friends, family, even three-legged pets — with Lovelight messages, like these from last year:

A Lovelight shines for:                                 With love from…

East Falls Friends & Neighbors                 Anne Farnese

Brian, Love you more                                  Christina

Sabrina, so proud of you                             Mom & Dad

East Falls Pack Walk Group/Woof!          Daisy

Spike, the 3 legged cat                                  Deb Thorp & Rich L.

In Memory of Shane Montgomery            Geoff & Charlene Brock

A Bright Idea

How did Lovelights start? Alexis Franklin, of the Friends of McMichael Park, gives us the skinny —

I can’t say that Lovelights was a completely original idea. Friends of McMichael Park founders Tom Williams, Keith Shively and I had heard of tree lightings for people who had passed away around the holidays.

We decided to take it one step further and honor “loves” on Valentines Day…some who are still here or others who are no longer with us.

The first year was a “test run” for the Friends of McMichael Park. When the word got out, I received a call from Dr. Marvin Maser who told me that he had a lotta of “loves.” He sent us the first check.  We lit the tree near the War Memorial and had music and dancing on the Memorial to celebrate and thank all the people who donated.

After a string of intense winters, we stopped the outdoor dancing, but on the bright side, the tree lighting was extended from one night to a week.  I love seeing neighbors and friends stop by and visit the “glowing” red tree (including some Valentine lights).Eastfallslocal.Lovelights Alexis Franklin 2014 w frame and textIt’s so special, even when I type up the Lovelights messages for submission to the newspaper, I laugh at all the pets (dogs, cats, guinea pigs, turtles) whose families love them. Fun to see all the cute, clever nicknames that people had for each other as well.

So much to smile about with Lovelights, but there’s heartache too. I sometimes tear up at the messages for loved ones who passed away, many before their time, like Michael Francis Burke Jr., whose family and friends continue to mourn him and have supported the Lovelights every year since the beginning.

It’s a beautiful tradition and I’m so grateful it’s continued all these years with the support of so many. Lovelights? I love it!

Got a Love You Want to Shout About?

For $5, you can purchase a light on the Lovelights tree, which will shine on Valentine’s Day in McMichael Park as a tribute to all the loves in East Falls.

Acknowledgments will be listed in February’s printed edition of the East Falls Local (if received by mail by January 15th).

All Lovelights donations go directly to the maintenance and care of McMichael Park.

Please make checks payable to the Friends of McMichael Park and mail to 2101 Market Street, #4002, Philadelphia,
PA 19103.

Questions? Email Alexis

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