Local residents are front and center for St. Patrick's Day festivities: A Place in the Sun – cleveland.com


This cheerful, inflatable leprechaun is hanging out on a front porch in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood to wish passersby a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. (Carol Kovach/special to cleveland.com)
CLEVELAND, Ohio – ‘Tis a grand day for the Irish and would-be Irish.
After two years of pandemic-induced cancelations, the St. Patrick’s Day festivities are expected to be back in full swing on March 17.
Beginning the day, the West Side Irish American Club will gather for its traditional Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Colman Church, 2027 W. 65th St., Cleveland. The club’s honorees will attend and participate in the liturgy. Vincent Beach is the WSIA Man of the Year and Colleen Hansen is the Woman of the Year. The club’s Volunteer of the Year is Christi Cruz and Margaret Lavelle is the WSIA Queen.
Meanwhile, St. Patrick Parish in West Park will celebrate its 174th anniversary during the 9 a.m. Mass on St. Patrick’s Day. The church is at 4427 Rocky River Drive, Cleveland. The Rev. John Pfeifer, pastor, said because of continuing concerns about the pandemic, there will be no social after Mass, but the parish will have a unit in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Cleveland.
And speaking of the parade, the 180th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, presented by the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland, will step off at 1:04 p.m. from East 18th Street and Superior Avenue. More than 100 units are expected to participate. The parade will march west on Superior Avenue towards Public Square, and it will disband at Rockwell Avenue and Ontario Street. The parade was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.
This year’s parade theme is Ireland’s Scenic Coastlines. Linda Carney is executive director of the parade.
The Rev. Thomas Mahoney of Lakewood will be honored as the Hibernian of the Year. A Cleveland native, he grew up in Lakewood and attended St. Clement School in Lakewood. He graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland before entering Borromeo College Seminary and St. Mary Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1965.
Mahoney served as a parochial vicar at several parishes, including St. Michael, Cleveland; St. Angela Merici, Fairview Park and St. Patrick, West Park. He also served as a pastor of two parishes before retiring in 2009.
Thomas McManamon Jr. is the 2022 parade grand marshal. His father was one of the original organizers of the UIS in 1958, he served as its first executive director and was parade grand marshal in 1977. This is the first time that a father and son will have been grand marshal of the parade.
McManamon attended St. Mark School in West Park and graduated from St. Edward High School in Lakewood in 1965. After serving in the Air Force, he married his wife, Jackie 52 years ago. They have three adult children and eight grandchildren. He has been involved with the parade since 1970 and served as executive director 2001-2004.
Rita Lally is the 2022 Irish Mother of the Year. She is a graduate of Holy Name School and Holy Name High School. She and her husband John are the parents of two daughters and grandparents of six. She retired from the city of Lakewood.
Lally and her family have been involved in Cleveland’s Irish community for more than 45 years. She is a member of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians. In 1995, she was parade co-chair.
Patricia Lavelle of North Olmsted is this year’s parade inside co-chair. A Holy Name High School alumna, Lavelle and her late husband Gerry have five children. She has been active with WSIA for many years and marches with the Ladies Drill Team.
Eileen Mangan Stull is outside co-chair of the 2022 parade. She has been involved with Irish dance for many years as an award-winning competitive dancer and teacher. A graduate of St. Mel School and Saint Joseph Academy, both in West Park, and Ursuline College, Mangan Stull had a long career in education in both the Cleveland Catholic schools and Cleveland public schools, serving as a teacher and principal.
She has been an active member of St. Mel Parish in West Park for about 30 years. In 2010, she was recognized as the WSIA Woman of the Year.
Bird watching: Lakewood Chamber of Commerce announces the rescheduling of its bird-watching event for 4:15-6:30 p.m. March 29 at the South Mastick Picnic Area of the Cleveland Metroparks. Naturalist Jen Brumfield will lead participants on a search for a pair of bald eagles that nest in the Rocky River Reservation.
Afterwards, there will be a bonfire, and refreshments. Participants should dress for the weather and wear boots.
The event is hosted by the chamber’s Education Task Force Committee and sponsored by Geiger’s. It’s free to attend, but registration is required. Visit lakewoodchamber.org for information.
Home Alone course: Lakewood’s Help 2 Others organization, known as H20, is offering Home Alone, an innovative safety and independence course that is researched, designed and presented by high school leaders.
Registration is open to Lakewood residents ages 9-12 and their parents/guardians. Participants will learn critical safety information covering topics including first aid, emergencies, tricky people/street smarts, routines and siblings, internet safety and mental health.
While children are presented with information from high school students, parents attend a similar presentation from safety professionals.
The next Home Alone session will be offered 6-8:30 p.m. March 31 at Lakewood High School, 14100 Franklin Blvd., Lakewood. For more information or registration, visit lakewoodoh.gov/h2o or the H20 Facebook page.
Easter pastry fundraiser: North Olmsted Senior Center is offering an Easter pastry fundraiser to help finance its programming and activities. Orders are being accepted through March 29 for a braid or cake roll. Once again the Senior Center is partnering with Stoller Fundraising for the event. Cost is $20 per pastry.
The Senior Center will receive 35% of all sales received during the pastry sale fundraiser. Visit store.myfundraisingplace.com/SelectProducts/653186d5-07b9-4602-8318-00bca42934ef/1475624 to order by March 29. Orders must be picked up 2-3 p.m. April 14 at the Senior Center.
Those who prefer can donate directly to the Senior Center by mailing a check payable to city of North Olmsted, 28114 Lorain Road, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070.
Information, please: Readers are invited to share information about themselves, their families and friends, organizations, church events, etc. in Fairview Park, Lakewood, North Olmsted and West Park for the A Place in the Sun column, which I write on a freelance basis. Awards, honors, milestone birthdays or anniversaries and other items are welcome. Submit information at least 10 days before the requested publication date to carolkovach@hotmail.com.
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