By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Southborough – While Super Bowl Sunday exemplifies extreme competitiveness, it can also be a day for supportive teamwork so that everyone wins. Continuing a longtime tradition at Pilgrim Church, the Senior High Youth Group gathered Feb. 3 for its annual Super Bowl Subs Sale. Many parishioners donated $5 for a hearty game-time meal. Once again, the proceeds will fund the group's summer mission trip to assist urban causes.
Sarah Hile has been leading the group of about 50 high school students for the past seven years.
“The Subs Sale brings the community together and it's a good way to let people know what the group is working toward,” she said.
Order forms were printed in the parish's weekly bulletin and monthly newsletter several weeks beforehand. The made-to-order subs included any combination of turkey, ham, Italian or vegetarian, with a choice of cheese and condiments. Also available were fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies, potato chips and beverages.
Group members met Super Bowl Sunday at 9 a.m. in the parish hall, where Hile explained to them the detailed procedure of filling the orders together in an assembly line.
“They start off with the meat and cheese, and then they put on the condiments, then the lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions,” she said. “At the end of the line, we have other kids wrap the subs in Saran Wrap. Other kids are making the paper bags that list the person's name, and whether or not they paid for their subs yet. Then someone else puts them all in a white plastic bag, and staples their order form to the bag. Then they alphabetize the bags.”
Thanks to the generosity of several local businesses, the cost of the subs has been kept low, and the profits remain high. Roche Brothers in Westborough donated $100, Wegmans in Northborough donated $80, and Price Chopper in Hopkinton and Stop & Shop in Westborough each donated $25. Mauro's Market in Southborough provided all the rolls.
Last year's proceeds helped fund the group's summer mission trip to the Bronx. They worked with several churches, one of which got them featured on the local television news.
“We were working in an Episcopal church that had severe water damage and they didn's have the funds to fix it,” Hile said. “This church provides to the community with a food pantry and soup kitchen. They have all these outreach missions, but nobody was coming in to help them maintain their infrastructure. We wanted to help those who are helping others, so we went in and worked on that church. Then a lot of people from the neighborhood started coming in and helping. It ended up on the nightly news in New York.”
Hile said her favorite memory of that trip was seeing the expressions on their co-workers faces.
“The people we were working with were awed by what these teenagers were able to accomplish,” she said. “In four days, they were able to do more than what most groups of people would probably be able to accomplish in a month.”
Preparing for this summer's mission trip to Chicago, the Senior High Youth Group will continue fundraising with teen dances and car washes. Also, in conjunction with the parish's Men's Group, they'se organizing a spaghetti dinner and a raffle with prizes including Red Sox tickets, scheduled for Sunday, March 17, at 6 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.
Whether working on a fundraiser or overhauling a damaged church, Hile appreciates observing the group members interact.
“I love watching them grow from freshmen to seniors,” she said. “And I love watching their leadership skills grow.”