STATE REP. BEN FREDERICK spoke at the Patti Matejewski Alley Dedication Monday afternoon. Surrounding Frederick are Durand Police Chief Jason Hartz, Sheriff Brian BeGole, Deputy and Durand Council member Rich Folaron, Durand Beautification Committee/council member Jeff Brands and Dr. Brian Boggs, also a council member.

   The alley shares a wall with the Durand Chamber of Commerce Building and is located on N. Saginaw Street.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)


  An alley was dedicated to longtime volunteer, Patti Matejewski, by the city of Durand on Monday, Aug. 22. Numerous community members gathered in and around the alley on N. Saginaw Street in downtown Durand in recognition of Matejewski and her efforts to beautify Durand.

   Matejewski, 68, died in December 2020 at Ascension Genesys Hospital. Friends and family came together Monday afternoon to celebrate her life and legacy, remembering her hours of service to the Durand community: weeding, planting flowers or putting up Christmas lights.

   The alley isn’t just any old alley, either. Commemorating Matejewski, the alley includes beautiful plants, special lighting and seating – offering a pleasant downtown getaway for people to enjoy.

   Several people spoke fondly of Matejewski on Monday including Durand Chamber Board President Darrick Huff, Rev. Lisa Lahring, Pastor Colleen Landio, State Rep. Ben Frederick, Jeff Brands of the Durand Beautification Committee, her husband, John and others.

   Durand Chamber Executive Director Candyce Wolsfeld explained that the alley idea came about as people were looking for a way to honor Matejewski when Durand Council Member Rich Folaron took it to city council and the council unanimously agreed on the concept. “So the Beautification Committee and the Durand Chamber Foundation said, ‘Let’s get it done.’” Wolsfeld said the project took about 1.5 years.

   “We are already seeing the alley used,” Wolsfeld stated. “Today there were people sitting in the rocking chairs at lunch, talking and with their cell phones. We had a young couple come out and eat lunch at the little patio table. We see someone there every single day. And that’s what Patti would want.”

   State Rep. Ben Frederick shared, “We do need people like this to serve. Every community across our nation does. This is a beautiful space. It’s a beautiful tribute. I know it’s going to have a lot of care and love poured into it for years to come.”

   A memorial sign in the center of the alley reads, “This alley is dedicated to Patti’s memory, in grateful appreciation of the thousands of hours she dedicated to tending to the community flowers, parks and walkways and for the thousands of Christmas lights she helped place through the downtown area.”

    Supporters of the Patti Matejewski Memorial Alley include Ace Hardware, city of Durand, D-Railed Bar and Grill, Durand Beautification Committee, Durand Chamber of Commerce, Durand Chamber Foundation, Durand DPW, Durand Rotary, Jeff Brands, Joan Brands, Lori Childs, Matt Schafer (Durand City Council), Rich Folaron (Durand City Council), Marsh Monument, John Matejewski, Mike Nazarian and Karen Warner. 

Spirit of Volunteerism Recognized in Durand  was last modified: August 30th, 2022 by Karen Elford