Local 22 firefighters spread the love at luncheon

Peg Harm­er (left) dances with Timothy Bjer­ring with Ca­det 186 dur­ing the an­nu­al widos lunch­eon at Loc­al 22. Peg lost her hus­band Bill Harm­er, who was once a pi­lot on a fire boat. (Maria Pouch­nikova)

In­ter­na­tion­al As­so­ci­ation of Fire­fight­ers Loc­al 22 last week wel­comed dozens of wid­ows for a pre-Thanks­giv­ing lunch and a lot more.

Mean­while, Holme Circle res­id­ent Kathy Per­petua made sure the wid­ows’ fund was re­plen­ished by donat­ing $2,650 in pro­ceeds from the sales of her hand­made ros­ary beads.

Per­petua and her hus­band, Tony, a re­tired Phil­adelphia fire­fight­er, thanked every­one who bought ros­ar­ies or made dona­tions. They sold the ros­ar­ies this year at craft fairs at Naz­areth Academy, Fath­er Judge, Holy Ghost Prep, Christ the King and the United Ger­man Hun­gari­an Club and even on the beach dur­ing a va­ca­tion in Aruba. The New Boulevard Diner again held a raffle for a din­ner for two, giv­ing $150 to the cause.

In ad­di­tion to last week’s dona­tion, the Per­petu­as pre­vi­ously gave $500 to Patrick Nally, a Phil­adelphia fire­fight­er ser­i­ously in­jured in the line of duty earli­er this year.

This is the second year in a row that the couple ex­ceeded $3,000. In 2011, $2,235 went to the wid­ows’ fund and $800 to the fam­ily of a fire­fight­er who died of can­cer.

The 15th an­nu­al lunch­eon took place Nov. 20 at the uni­on hall at Fifth and Wil­low streets.

The af­ter­noon in­cluded a buf­fet lunch, cake, ice cream, a disc jockey and dan­cing. Act­ive and re­tired fire­fight­ers vo­lun­teered for the day.

The 80 Phil­adelphia Fire Academy ca­dets who were off that day all vo­lun­teered to par­ti­cip­ate. They served food, cleared tables and danced with the ladies.

In all, Loc­al 22 provided gift bags and Thanks­giv­ing meals with all the fix­ings to 125 wid­ows, many of whom live off measly pen­sions and little or no cost-of-liv­ing ad­just­ments.

Ca­dets car­ried the goods to the wo­men’s cars, and loc­al fire sta­tions de­livered the meals and bags to those un­able to at­tend. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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