Appropriately, it was one of those days Patrick’s Tree was designed for as the hot afternoon sun melted away the June gloom, bringing into full, direct focus the living legacy of their late son, brother, husband and dad.
Well over one hundred members of the San Marino community showed up at Lacy Park on Wednesday evening for the dedication of the Patrick’s Tree project, which includes two tulip trees as well as picnic tables, a fence, formal entrance and arbor near the playground.
Before Patrick Martin passed away in 2012 from leukemia, he longed for a shady spot where he could be closer to his children while they played at Lacy Park. He couldn’t be in direct sunlight because of the chemotherapy and radiation he was undergoing, so he had to watch them from afar.
In Patrick’s memory, his sister, Colleen McGuinness and wife Danielle raised more than $100,000 to correct the situation.
“This is now checked off our list,” said Patrick’s father, Chris Martin, who provided the closing comments on Wednesday.
“Patrick was a really amazing guy,” Chris Martin continued. “I remember him sitting right here saying this was a problem and we need to fix it.” They did.
“This project is so near and dear to our family’s heart,” Patrick’s mother, Jeannette said lovingly. “This park is woven into the fabric of our family. If I couldn’t find our children in the house, I could find them them here. In the fox cave or in the tops of the trees. Lacy Park has created lasting memories.”
Colleen and Danielle thanked the 207 donors and called Patrick’s Tree “a meaningful place that will be for many generations.”
“The fact we reached 90% of our fundraising goal in five months is a tribute to the amazing number of people whose lives Patrick touched in such a short time,” said Colleen. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This will live on for a long time.”