Light-Up Night sparkles with special meaning in Ford City
Ford City Renaissance Partnership is out to send a message to its ailing chairman— “this Light-Up Night’s for you.”
Steve Heffner, 61, a co-chairman of the Renaissance group, was hospitalized last week with heart problems and is recovering in Allegheny General Hospital.
“We have to make this event something special,” said Renaissance Partnership Secretary Barbara Klukan. “It will all come together. It has to. For the community. For the children. And for Stevie.”
To make it come together, the group which has organized Light-Up Night for the past several years is looking for volunteers to pitch in for the Nov. 29 event.
Ford City High Choral Director Josh Meyer has offered to help set up the sound system for Light-Up Night — a chore usually handled by Heffner. But volunteers are needed to supervise children’s activities, to monitor horse drawn carriage rides, and to help with other tasks during the night.
Heffner is not likely to make it to the event he has worked so hard to make a success, his family members said. But he’ll be there in spirit.
“He takes a lot of great pride in Ford City,” his sister Katt Hefner said from her home in Florida.
Heffner’s health is not the first setback the Renaissance Partnership has faced this year. The group did not get approval from the borough needed for Light-Up Night street closures until late August, putting it behind with booking entertainment and building decorations.
The delay for a period had organizers worried they might not be ready in time to put on the annual event. But with those worries behind them, their sights are now firmly set on making their chairman proud.
“We have to make Light-Up Night happen this year … for him,” Klukan said.
Heffner’s brother, Skip of Kittanning, said he is sure his brother appreciates the work his colleagues are putting in in his absence.
“I’ll let him know everybody’s thinking about him and they’re making this Light Up Night special for him,” his brother said. “I know he’ll really appreciate that.”
Julie E. Martin is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1315 or [email protected].