This Saturday, December 4, at 9:00 a.m., residents of Port Richmond will celebrate their fourth annual Peter J. Hanlon Memorial Jingle Bell Walk/Run. The walk/run is organized by the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) Division 87 and PROPAC to honor the memory of Peter Hanlon.
Despite his perfect health, Hanlon, 48, inexplicably died in June of 2007. Every year since his death, the Jingle Bell Walk/Run has been a tradition residents of Port Richmond have strived to uphold. Hanlon was a transportation manager for SEPTA as well as an officer in the AOH. His hobbies included, competing in marathons and traveling all over the United States. Hanlon was active in the Port Richmond community as a lector and member of the Parish Council at his church St. George, in Port Richmond. Since Hanlon was known for his appreciation and love for the Christmas season, community leaders celebrate Hanlon through their Jingle Bell Walk/Run.
Karen Stankiewicz, a family friend of the Hanlon’s said, “Pete’s gift to us was in knowing him and allowing us to share his love of life, family, friends, faith and the community. His death has left an unfulfilled void.”
Immediately following the race, Stankiewicz, along with other members of the Port Richmond community, will conclude the event with a pancake and sausage breakfast. Terry Lindsey-Welsh will also be accepting donations of new toys that will be displayed in the WXTU Toy Truck Parade the following Sunday morning, December 5. All the toys will benefit the Child Abuse Prevention Effort. Also, all the money raised by sponsors will be donated to the PJH Memorial Fund, which supports Port Richmond community organizations in honor of Hanlon.
“It’s just something nice to do during this time of year,” said Lindsey-Welsh. “It’s a hard time for [Hanlon’s friends and family] but through events like this, it makes the season a little more bearable and easier to get through.”
By: Chesney Davis and Ashley Huber