City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Remembering Our Angels

Colorful and welcoming Angel Alley commemorates Mason area children lost too soon.

Alleys are usually not thought of as colorful, beautiful or inviting. However, Mason’s Angel Alley is just that. Twinkling lights, a canopy of multicolored umbrellas, and a 60-foot kaleidoscopic mural sprinkled with the names of precious children welcome each visitor to an unforgettable space in downtown Mason.

“It is a meaningful work of art dedicated to and honoring our school-aged children who have passed on too soon. We call them our angels,” explains Mark and Jen Winter, Mason small-business owners who imagined this transformation of the alley next to their office.

Angel Alley is located at 312 W. Main between the Winter’s Solutions Plus Pest Control office and the MADE Chamber office in the heart of downtown Mason. ‘Heart’ is what this space is all about.

“I knew we wanted colorful umbrellas and a mural. And both Mark and I wanted it to have a special meaning. We thought of our Mason families who have lost children and shared our idea with a group of bereaved moms who meet regularly for support. They agreed it would be a wonderful idea,” reflects Jen.

The moms’ group chose the quote “Angels from above watch over those we love” to be the theme. Mark, Jen, angel mom Bonnie Collins and artists David Uy and Brian Beck captured this sentiment with a vibrant mural centerpiece of angel wings. Their vision of vivid, stained-glass colors throughout and fun child-like depictions of hearts, flowers, and dragonflies accompany the names of 48 children who have been given their angel wings.

The project has been a community-wide effort: a GoFundMe campaign paid for the artists and many supplies; Mark and angel dad Jon Day hung the lights and umbrellas; Natorps and R & M Jackson Enterprises provided landscaping needs and AlphaGraphics Cincinnati is donating name plaques with dates and a special remembrance symbol for each child.

Angel mom Nichole Yockey shares her story and thoughts about the significance of Angel Alley to her family and the community: “We lost our son Jyan in June of this year. My family and I hurt every day, but we are comforted to know that our son and all of these children will always have a beautiful place within our community to be represented, visited and remembered. I can't tell you what that means to me. For this, and for everyone involved in creating Angel Alley, we are extremely grateful.” 

A community dedication was held on October 28 and included an opportunity for visitors to leave a message on a ‘kindness rock’ they painted.

“Mason is going to love this space,” angel parents Kristen and Jon Day tell us. “It is unique to our special city and has incredible meaning and significance to so many who live here. These children are very important to all the residents of Mason, not just the immediate family, but friends, loved ones, peers and teachers.”

Mark and Jen relate, “Our hope is that Angel Alley will bring joy to the families of these children and will give our community a bright, cheerful place to gather and enjoy time together remembering and celebrating our angels.”

For more information and to share your messages and pictures, please follow @AngelAlleyMason on Facebook and Instagram.

  • Angel parents, Kristen Day, Jon Day and Bonnie Collins
  • Mural artists Brian Beck and David Uy
  • Rinda Dean of AlphaGraphics Cincinnati