A retired Philadelphia brigadier hosts a mini block party for the local community


When a person retires from their long-time job, it is customary for others to throw a retirement party to commemorate a job well done. But a retired Philadelphia brigadier wanted to do things a little differently.

For the past 20 years, Marie Garrison has provided safe passage for children and adults at an intersection in Port Richmond. Over the years, her kindness and warmth have made her a fixture in the community.

“It’s amazing! I know when my daughter comes home from school she is always safe,” said a local parent. “Every child ‘Hi Mia! Hi Anthony!’ Yeah that’s amazing.”

After two decades of memories, Garrison wanted to do something special for the community before hanging up his yellow vest. On a beautiful Friday in late spring, Garrison threw a mini block party as a thank you and last hurray.

“It was such an honor,” Garrison said. “It was like a second family for me to meet the children and every day to see them, I am so happy every day to do the work.”

With pizza and a sidewalk magic show, Garrison paid for Friday’s festivities out of his own pocket. His standing in the community was recognized by the Philadelphia Police Department, who presented him with a Certificate of Appreciation.

“Since I’ve been here, it’s been one of the safest parts of the neighborhood, thanks to her,” an officer said.


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