Working on a Sunday column about progress (or lack thereof) amid the many arranged marriages underway between parish schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In between interviews, got this email from a reader and proud Monsignor Bonner parent who has channeled his memories of the son he lost into a money-making juggernaut for the young man's alma mater.
David Garrison graduated in 2008 after a distinguished athletic career at the Drexel Hill high school. He went on to West Virginia University, but was killed after being struck by a car in early 2009.
"He was going back to school with an upperclassman when they had a flat," explained his father, also named Dave Garrison. "While waiting for help to arrive, someone came along and hit him along the side of the road. He suffered severe brain injuries and died two weeks later."
Garrison's family quickly established a memorial scholarship, which has raised more than $75,000 used to sponsor students at Bonner and its sister school, Archbishop Prendergast. This year, some of the money will go to the larger preservation fund established to help keep both schools afloat.
"So, we are now playing a dual role in helping both the students and the school."
This Saturday, the family will hold its annual beef-and-beer benefit in Bonner's cafeteria from 8 p.m. to Midnight. The menu includes hot roast beef & pork, pasta, salad and, of course, suds. (Tickets are $30/$35 and can be purchased by calling 610-304-9317 or 610-357-1135.)
The 2012 is extra-special, as Garrison would have graduated from WVU this month.
-- Monica Yant Kinney