On Friday, June 7 at the Beachmont VFW, a fundraiser for a fund established in memory of the longtime Salesians Boys and Girls Club mentor Wally Bowe will be held.
Those of who knew Bowe best had created the fund several years ago after his untimely death. The Wally Bowe Fund not only keeps his memory alive but also continues the good work he did every day as a coach, teacher and role model for local youth.
The fund, administered by his daughters Jillian and Janae, wife Darlene, and others in the community, will provide support to the Salesians Boys & Girls Club, a non-profit organization that Wally attended as a young man and where he worked for 25 years.
Bowe, the longtime Boys and Girls Club director and mentor, was known for his caring, compassion and generosity. Bowe had a big personality and an even bigger heart.
There is always one story that stands out that captures the true character of Bowe.
On a bus trip back from a field trip to the Salesians Boys and Girls Club in East Boston a group of camp counselors thought it would be a treat if the bus stopped at McDonald’s so the kids could eat. Once they pulled into the famed fast food restaurant, all the counselors and kids jumped off the bus and ran in to get their fix of burgers and fries–except for four brothers huddled in the back of the bus.
Bowe quietly approached the brothers and asked what was up.
“We have no money,” the brothers told Bowe. The four brothers were from a single parent home being raised by their widowed mother so money was scarce.
Bowe, stood up, reached into his pocket and quietly gave each brother $5 so they could get something to eat.
That was the type of guy Wally Bowe was.
Bowe, a longtime East Boston resident that grew up on Chelsea Street and dedicated his life to the youth here died suddenly in 2010 at his home in Saugus. Bowe was 53 years old.
Bowe death came as a great shock followed by tremendous sadness from residents across Eastie.
“Wally was the most compassionate and caring person I ever met,” said Nancy LoConte who helps organize the annual event. “He was not only a friend to many he was a role model for many young kids. Parents never worried when they where with Wally at the Salesian’s because they knew they would be safe and he would teach them all about sports and how to be kind to everyone. Darlene, Janae and Jillian want to keep his memory alive for the place he dedicated his life to. Come show your support for the Wally Bowe Foundation. If you were one of those people that Wally made a difference in your life please join us for a great evening of stories, dinner and music.”
In addition, organizers of the fund are seeking donations to defray the cost of the June 7 event and to make a contribution to the Salesian Boys & Girls Club, a program that has been serving children and teens from East Boston and surrounding communities since 1945. Admission donation will be $25.00 and checks can be made payable to: The Wally Bowe Fund, Attn; Nancy LoConte, 81 Leyden Street, East Boston, Ma 02128.