From the Editors: August 1, 2018
Loss, charity, exploration, and the continuous circle
For decades, State Representative Florindo "Flo" Fabrizio invested in our community. During his long tenure representing Erie's 2nd District (encompassing West Erie, Summit Township, and Belle Valley), he involved himself in numerous charitable and philanthropic efforts and saw his dedication toward his constituents repaid, winning eight elections (largely unopposed) and serving 16 years in office — in addition to 20 years prior spent as Erie County Clerk. On Tuesday, July 24, Fabrizio passed away due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 73. That day, Erie lost one of its greatest champions. His unwavering support and lifelong dedication to our community will be dearly missed. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued this statement on the day of his passing, stating that "Representative Fabrizio's life was one of passion and he spent his career fighting for the people he represented in Erie. Flo was a loyal and loving husband, father, colleague, friend and representative. He was a personal friend to me and I will never forget his zeal for life, even in his most difficult days. His legacy in Erie and across Pennsylvania will live on for years to come and I encourage all Pennsylvanians to keep him, his family and all those mourning in their thoughts today."
In the rational universe, as in life, the circle has always continued. Perhaps following its blueprint, we've always been a cyclical species. Summer in Erie follows familiar patterns, and for many of us, its various meeting points serve as reference in its composition. Ushering in August (as usual) is the Erie Blues & Jazz Festival, in its first year as an Erie Arts and Culture production after a quarter century under the Erie Art Museum's stewardship. While the artist lineup may at times include sounds challenging and unfamiliar (again, as usual), the transition should otherwise prove seamless. Piggybacking the Blues & Jazz Fest (and Girard's ritual Dan Rice Days) this year will be a much younger but also returning event in the Lake Erie Cyclefest, with the hopes of creating a tandem of traditions for years to come.
If we expect good things to come back to us, we cannot do so without investing a little bit of time, passion, and energy of our own. For instance, by supporting a new local business (such as the Doughdrop Inn) with our dollars, we can help make the region unique and a destination for others. If we want ourselves and our children to be repaid with health and happiness, we should make an effort foster those conditions, whether it's breastfeeding a baby or fighting for workers' rights (see State Rep. Pat Harkins' rallying cry for unions). Erie Gives Day (August 14) is an opportunity to give to area nonprofits that give back so much to our community.
Although we may not always follow the beat of the same drum corps, generosity and compassion are forever in unison with our collective goals.