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Pie sale helps Community Servings feed critically ill

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  November 15, 2012 03:53 PM

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(Photo courtesy Community Servings)

Montilio's Bakery baked the massive cake decorated as a pie to promote the Pie in the Sky pie sale benefitting Community Servings.

A cake weighing more than an entire Thanksgiving dinner and disguised as a pie was sliced up and shared among Bostonians Tuesday. But those lucky enough to walk by when the pie was fresh were not the only ones who benefitted from the dessert.

The cake, baked by Montilio’s Bakery, was served to passersby in the Prudential Center as part of the 20th annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser, a festive pie sale by local non-profit Community Servings.

Pie sales help the organization raise funds to deliver nutritious meals to critically ill people who cannot cook or shop for themselves.

“If we don't bring them the meals, they're going to have to go into some kind of longterm care facility. This allows them to stay home longer and keep families together,” Tim Leahy, the organization's vice president of development and communication, said at the Prudential Center event.

Touted as the world’s greatest bake sale, the Pie in the Sky fundraiser helps Community Servings deliver medically tailored meals to patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other illnesses and their families.

Each $25 pie sold provides a week’s worth of home-delivered meals.

Community Servings currently serves 825 patients and 40 percent of clients also receive meals for their children or spouse, according to Leahy.

More than 150 chefs from Boston-area restaurants and thousands of volunteers help sell, bake, inspect, and distribute the pies.

“The generosity of the Boston-are restaurant community is amazing. We're going to sell 15,000 pies and we couldn't do it without them,” Leahy said.

At the selling locations in Boston and Cambridge Tuesday, pie lovers celebrated with pie costumes, games, prizes, and free coffee and pie.

For those who couldn’t make it to a selling celebration, a “Pie Mobile” provided by ZipCar delivered treats to companies that tweeted about pie.

“There was such excitement from the people working there,” said Matt Kurkowski, the volunteer co-chairman of the Pie in the Sky, who dressed as a slice of pie for the day.

Kurkowski, who is a marketing manager for ZipCar when not donning a pie costume, started volunteering for the event four years ago and said he has seen support for the organization grow every year.

More than 14,000 pies are distributed each year and last year’s event raised over $530,000. To date, the sales have raised over $6 million.

This year, the organization hopes to raise $575,000 through the sale of thousands of pies.

John Spadaccini, a Community Servings volunteer, has been helping the organization prepare meals weekly and sell pies since being laid off due to the economic downturn.

"Volunteering at Community Serving provides meaning in my life during a time of transition," said Spadaccini, who worked as academic and career advisor for a college.

Known as "The Pie Guy," Spadaccini often dresses as a pie slice at events, around the city, and on the T so he can raise awareness for Community Servings and the pie sale.

He said helping people heal from their illnesses has helped him heal.

"I always like to help those who are less fortunate, and even though I don't have a job, I have my health," he said.

Pies can also be purchased online through Saturday. All orders can be picked up Wednesday before Thanksgiving.


(Photo courtesy John Spadaccini)

John Spadaccini, or The Pie Guy, dressed in costume at Government Center recently to sell pies for Community Servings.

Twitter: @YourBackBay

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