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Angel of McIlvain Playground

Mrs. Angel Brandan has been a mainstay at McIlvain Playground since 1980. Angel came to McIlvain as a volunteer helper with the Tot Recreation Program. In 1981 she became an assistant teacher in the program that boasted two classes in the morning and the afternoon. In 1983, the director retired and Ms. Angel, as she is known to over 800 children that have passed through the Tot Rec program, took over and had not relinquished the title since.

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Angel with her kids

Now, beginning her 35th year, Ms. Angel still comes to McIlvain every day, after her job as a crossing guard for the city of Philadelphia, and teaches children ages 2 ½ to 5. Along with her assistant, Ms. Linda Fagan (who has been here for 17 years), the children enter kindergarten well prepared for what lies ahead of them. Ms. Angel has taught 27 children of children that she taught when they attended McIlvain’s Tot Rec Program.

Besides the Tot Recreation Program, Ms. Angel has been the director of the Summer Day Camp for the past 20 years, taught a children’s Arts & Crafts class once a week for 5 years, taught an adult crafts class for 11 years and has been a member of the McIlvain Advisory Council for the past 7 years.

Angel Brandan is the true essence of what a community member is about. Even though she lives outside of Frankford and the closest playground to her home is Simpson Recreation Center, thirty four years ago she made a decision to make a difference in the lives of so many children, as well as adults, in the Frankford area and in particular McIlvain Playground.

She truly loves McIlvain and the children. Recently she stated that if we didn’t have enough money, she would continue to do it for free. Many people say this about a job but she actually meant it. This is who she is and she deserves to be recognized for all she has given without asking for anything in return.

by Steve Schmidt,
Facility Supervisor,
McIlvain Playground

Angel was honored on December 5th at McIlvain with a reception honoring her 35 years at the playground where she was honored by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sanchez,  State Rep. Jason Dawkins State Senator Tina Tartaglione.