August 2013 Coit Tower News

COIT TOWER NEWS – August 2013
On August 22nd, fans of Lillie Hitchcock Coit gathered together at the headquarters of the SF Fire Department in front of the original Knickerbocker No. 5 fire engine to commemorate the 170th birthday of this special San Francisco woman the following day. 
San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White cut the “Happy Birthday Lillie” cake and spoke about the deep connection between San Francisco firefighters and the woman known as ‘Firebelle Lil’ who, at the age of eight, was rescued from a burning building by a volunteer member of fire company Knickerbocker No. 5.  Forever after, Lillie cheered on and supported her favorite firefighters at every opportunity.  At the age of 15 she famously dropped her schoolbooks and began pulling a fire engine up Telegraph Hill when she saw firefighters struggling to make it.  She became an honorary member of the Knickerbocker No. 5 company, wearing the company’s helmet with a front piece that included her initials and a gold badge featuring the Number 5.
On behalf of the Coit family, a “Happy Birthday Lillie” message from Susie Coit Williams was read at the party.  Thanks to the Guardians of the City for showcasing and safeguarding some of the special Lillie items and to Ken Maley for organizing a very nice event worthy of a very special San Franciscan.  See party photographs by clicking here:
Speaking of birthday parties . . . the planning for the Coit Tower 80th Birthday Party & Art Show on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 is well underway!  Co-sponsors of the party and one-day art show at Live Worms Gallery at 1345 Grant Avenue now include the San Francisco Arts Commission, the North Beach Business Association, Telegraph Hill Dwellers, The National New Deal Preservation Association, the Living New Deal, and Protect Coit Tower.  We are looking for volunteers to help staff the art gallery during the day on October 8th and to help with the party in the evening.  We are also looking for donations of drinks, snacks, and party supplies.  If you would like to make a donation or volunteer some time to help make this a great event, please email
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