by the Tim Dwyer family
Though the St. Vincent Pie jars have disappeared from the stores, the memory of our dearest “BoBo,” as we fondly called her, has not! Jean Dwyer, our grandmother and mother, began the service tradition of collecting pies and monies for the soup kitchen in Germantown over 25 years ago.
From her home on Gravers Lane, she would walk the jars to all the shopkeepers while chatting and meeting new friends. After the jars were collected by her method, Jean and Dorothy Corn, long-time resident of Chestnut Hill, would count all the loot to hand over to Sister Eileen at the St. Vincent Soup Kitchen.
This year was no exception! With little fanfare the jars were delivered by Teens, Inc. members and Our Mother of Consolation 8th grade boys to many of the businesses along Germantown Avenue. In the Vincentian spirit, the dedication of Alex Sislo, Zuri Peyton and Tristan Hall was astounding! The young men spent a couple of hours a week delivering jars, talking with shop owners, collecting money and then picking up all the jars again.
They were always checking to make sure they were filling up. For three-and-a-half weeks the jars graced the counters of Top of the Hill, Bruno’s, Fiesta, Roller’s Expresso and Murray’s Opticians, to name just a few. Though neighbors and visitors to Chestnut Hill stores have been bombarded with donation requests, especially in light of Hurricane Sandy, they all came through for BoBo and Face to Face, the not-for-profit that runs the St. Vincent Dining Room in Germantown.
Young Adam Meadows walked a jar around his neighborhood and collected $38 in donations, and Our Mother of Consolation School had over $100 in donations. BoBo would have been smiling at the $1,025 raised and 72 pies that were donated to Face to Face for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Our Chestnut Hill community is generous beyond measure. How do you measure a slice of the pie? By the $38 one young boy collected or by the thousands that some can give? Only BoBo up in heaven knows that secret!