This year the Valley Community Association will be honoring three very special people, who passed away this past year, who impacted the community, and were great supporters of the Valley at the 25th Annual “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade – BOB BOUQUARD, MIKE HARRINGTON, PAUL SIMONICK. The parade will be held on Saturday, March 17th, 2018.
Michael Harrington was born on December 30th, 1962, the second child of George and Norma (Bremer) Harrington, who resided in the Old First Ward. He adored his older sister Kelly and later his younger brothers Sean Harrington and Jimmy Mullins. Mike was a very proud resident of the Old First Ward, attending a public elementary school on the corner of Hamburg Street and O’Connell Avenue and graduated from South Park High School. He could often be found hanging out at his grandmother’s bar – Milts – drinking pop or helping stock the coolers.
In the summer of 1982, on the corner of the former Tricia’s Deli in the Old First Ward, fate was decided when he and Lori Nowak, a Valley girl, began dating. One of their first dates was to a softball game at Father Conway park on Louisiana Street. They married at Buffalo City Hall on September 19th, 1983 with his best friend Mark Felschow and his grandmother Ginny Baczynski as witnesses. In their 34 years together, Mike and Lori raised four daughters – Abby, Kristen, Alyssa, and Lanie.
Mike worked hard to provide for his family, beginning at Tops Supermarket as a lettuce trimmer and working his way up to management, spending 32 years with the company. Although not part of managerial duties, one could frequently find Mike bundling flowers in the floral department, threading shish kabobs in the meat department, or anything else that was needed to keep operations running smoothly. He was well respected and never too proud to help wherever needed. Mike also made sure that his former neighborhoods were taken care of through donations from Tops.
Mike supported Lori as she furthered her education to be a teacher and helped her in various ways including attending field trips, helping set up her classroom, and buying books for her students.
Mike was involved in athletics, playing in golf, softball and horseshoe leagues and was an avid fan of the Buffalo Sabres. He loved cooking large meals for his extended family and spending time with his grandchildren Austin, Lily, Lucy, and Gia.
When the Avenue Pub began marching in the “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade over twenty years ago, Mike was the driver of the truck float and usually the first one there in the morning providing tools, decorating, and sound equipment. During the parade Mike could be heard yelling “Save the candy for the good neighborhood!” referring to his beloved Old First Ward. He attended the Wednesday concerts at Buffalo River Fest Park as often as he could and loved bringing friends so he could give them a tour of the neighborhood and his old haunts.
On the evening of the parade fundraiser in March 2016, Mike was diagnosed with colon cancer in his liver and began treatment yet he continued to drive the parade float through March 2017. He battled fearlessly and optimistically until August 10, 2017 when he passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving wife, daughters, son-in-laws and grandchildren.
Mike is survived by his wife Lori; children Abby (Nicholas) Kay, Kristen (Jonathan) Mietus, Alyssa (Robert) Torres and Lanie (Adam Henderson) Harrington; grandchildren Austin, Lily, Lucy and Gia; siblings Kelly Yuskiw, Jimmy Mullins and Sean Harrington; mother in law Judy Nowak; and in-laws Jeff (Becky), Wendy, Cheri (Thomas), Nick and Erica.
2018 Grand Marshal
James “Jim” Sumbrum Sr. has been chosen as the Grand Marshal of the 25th edition of the “Old Neighborhood” St. Patrick’s Day Parade and will lead the procession through the historic streets of the Valley and Old First Ward neighborhoods on Saturday, March 17th, 2018.
The Parade Route
The 25th annual parade will kick off at 12 Noon from the Valley Community Center and will wind through the streets of the historic Buffalo River Community. Viewing of the parade is available along South Park Avenue (between Hamburg Street and Smith Street), Smith Street (between South Park Avenue and Elk Street), Elk Street (between Smith Street and South Park Avenue), Hamburg Street (between South Park Avenue and South Street), and South Street (between Hamburg Street and Louisiana Street).
Immediately following the parade will be the traditional grand Irish “Hooley” featuring live music by “Emerald Isle” as well as plenty of food and drink. The “Hooley” runs from 1pm-5pm at the Valley Community Center.
For More Information on the Valley’s St. Patrick’s Day Festivities
- Call Lori at – 716-823-4707 ext. 4
- “Like” the Valley Community Center on Facebook
- Follow the agency on Twitter @VCAssociation