DUBOIS – For a seventh consecutive year, the DuBois Area Historical Society’s Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk attracted over 200 participants. The final total on a cool, fall evening was 207.
The walk featured three events marking a 100th anniversary in 2019: the donation of land from John E. DuBois that became the City Park, the renaming of North Brady Street to Liberty Boulevard and the chartering of Montgomery Post 17 of the American Legion.
“We thank everyone who attends this event and supports the historical society,” said Tom Schott, chair of the Lantern Walk committee.
“The society is grateful to the city of DuBois for allowing us to use the park and Parkside Community Center for allowing us to use its facilities for our starting point.”
The walk featured seven characters, who were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, adding an extra layer to the American Legion anniversary and the naming of Liberty Boulevard to honor veterans who served in World War I.
Performing were Darius Clement as DuBois Mayor Mark Vrahas (Korean War veteran); Tom Shade as Harry “Gitch” Hoskavich (World War II), founder of DuBois Teener League Baseball; Robin Powers as nurse Elizabeth “Lizzie” McNerney, who died of the flu while in service during World War I and the namesake of the DuBois Veterans of Foreign Wars auxiliary; Sue Stapleton as nurse Lucy Osler (World War I), the first woman to be buried in the Soldiers Circle at Morningside Cemetery; Caleb Thompson as Elton J. Mansell (World War I), long-time DuBois High School principal; Levi Thompson as George Montgomery, the first officer from DuBois to die in World War I; and Paul Sprague as John Jacob Pentz (World War I), the first commander of Montgomery Post 17 of the American Legion.
Completing the cast were Hannah Thompson and Ella Cherico as Friskey and Frosty, two deer housed in the City Park for many years by V. T. Smith Dairy. The walk has always included and animal character, much to the delight of the young people who attend.
Leading tours were Paul Bojalad, Galen Kilmer, Carolyn Rhoades, Ginny Schott, Todd Thompson and Tom Schott; they were accompanied by: Gene Aravich, Dick Castonguay, Jeanne Hayes, Beecher Klingensmith and Jerry Watson.
Assisting at Parkview were Ruth Gregori, Kathleen Clement, Jean Hayes, Linda Lupro, George Reilly, Mary Reilly, Cherie Shannon and Susan Thompson.
The script and narration were researched and written by Gene Aravich, Ruth Gregori, Tom Schott, Virginia Schott and Todd Thompson. Additional information for the script was provided by Gary Hoskavich and the family of Mark Vrahas.
The 2019 Lantern Walk committee included Ruth Gregori, Gene Aravich, Paul Bojalad, Darius Clement, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Robin Powers, Carolyn Rhoades, Nancy Rosman, Ginny Schott, Paul Sprague, Todd Thompson and Tom Schott.
In its 12 years, 2,734 people have taken advantage of attending the Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk.