Hundreds of miles away from “Ground Zero”, Page Case couldn’t take it any more. Four weeks later, with her women’s group, she’d helped her church, St. Thomas Episcopal on the Isle of Hope, near Savannah, Georgia, to raise $10,000 for ongoing relief efforts in New York City.
“She was glued to the television coverage,” says her husband, Mark Case, also a member of St. Thomas. What specifically motivated her was learning about Fr. Lyndon Harris and the massive relief operation at St. Paul’s Chapel, which stood precisely in harm’s way on September 11. The Episcopalian felt a connection with her “brothers and sisters” up north.
They decided to stage an event similar to a Memorial Day parade, only this time a “Patriot’s Day Parade” to conclude with a barbecue. Four weeks later, about 300 people participated in 80 parade exhibits: military vehicles, soccer teams and a variety of floats. A four-star general greeted the crowd lining the parade route.
Meats found on backyard grills across the countryside were prepared along with their gigantic, soup-based second-cousin: a low country shrimp boil, made with potato, shrimp, and sausage -- enough to feed 500. The going rate was $10 for adults and $5 for children, but people started writing bigger checks. One man gave $1,000.
“It showed the best of the community spirit here,” said the Rev. Hugh Bromily, who has been rector of St. Thomas’ for three years. “I volunteered for kitchen duty,” he said, “and people were lined up to eat for hours.”