March 20 would have been Fred Rogers 80th birthday. To honor him and his memory, Mr. McFeely has a special request (see most of the press release below) as part of what is being referred to as "Won't You Be My Neighbor Days." And really, if you have to ask who those people are in the preceding sentences, shame, shame on you.
Mr. Rogers was always there for me. I was all about the Land of Make Believe. I may have even had a thing for Lady Aberlin. So please, on Wednesday, wear your favorite sweater. It doesn't even have to zip up in the front.
(Pittsburgh) – In honor of what would have been Mister Rogers’ 80th birthday on March 20, Mr. McFeely — aka David Newell, the public relations director for Family Communications, Inc. (the nonprofit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers) — has a special request.I miss Mr. Rogers. It makes me sad that my kids will never know him.
"We’re asking everyone everywhere — from Pittsburgh to Paris — to wear their favorite sweater on that day," he asks in his best speedy delivery voice. "It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program, it just has to be special to you."
But wait, there’s more.
It just so happens that Sweater Day is part of Pittsburgh’s 250th anniversary celebration and the first-ever "Won’t You Be My Neighbor?" Days (March 15 — 20).
"We wanted to recognize Fred in a way that would reflect his deep appreciation of what it means to be a caring neighbor," explains FCI’s Margy Whitmer.
As a result, "’Won’t You Be My Neighbor?" Days — WYBMND for short, although not by much — was born as a means of promoting neighborliness throughout Fred Rogers’ own backyard — Southwestern Pennsylvania region.
Throughout WYBMND, more than 30 organizations ranging from libraries (Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh and others throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania), to museums (The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art, the Senator John Heinz History Center and The Carnegies) to other venues (The New Hazlett Theater, The Pittsburgh Opera, the Pittsburgh Zoo and the PPG Aquarium, the National Aviary and Gilda’s Club Western Pennsylvania) have signed up to participate. Highlights of the celebration also include performances by musicians including members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.