Friends helping friends, businesses helping nonprofits

What happens when you mention to a friend that the monastery is running low on sanitizer that is on back order? Your friend has a friend and low and behold, a need is met—thanks to Mazza Vineyards and Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing.

It all started when Sister Dianne Sabol mentioned the problem to Oblate Margaret Kloecker. It just so happens Margaret is a friend of Kathie Klemen Mazza, a classmate of hers since 3rd grade through high school. Was it mentioned that all three attended St. Benedict Academy (SBA), classes ’70 and ’68 respectively? If you didn’t know it the school song is all about “friends we can never forget.” Not to mention, of course, that the SBA Alum truly upholds faithfulness, generosity, outreach and care. The Alum has been ongoing in their contributions to the community’s ministries since St. Benedict Academy closed in 1988.

“Kathie Klemen Mazza and her husband are the owners of Mazza Vineyards and Five & 20 Spirits & Brewing,” explained Sister Dianne. “Desiring to help their community they gave their distillery a new purpose and have begun producing hundreds of gallons of hand sanitizer to help with the shortage brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.” Margaret shared: “When I asked Kathie if she might help out the sisters, she responded enthusiastically and she immediately put me in touch with the staff at Five & 20. After conferring with Sister Diane Rabe (Monastery Coordinator and SBA Class of ’69) I picked up 10 gallons of sanitizer and delivered it to the monastery.”

A group effort among friends who just happened to be SBA Alum, responded to a need at the monastery; a gift was given and gratefully received. The kindness will not be forgotten. “Five & 20 is donating the sanitizer to nonprofits and community organizations that need it and the Erie Benedictines are certainly grateful to them for this donation in response to our need,” said Sister Anne Wambach, prioress. “Friends helping friends, businesses helping nonprofits—a ray of light in a time that threatens darkness. A very special thank you to Bob and Kathie Klemen Mazza.”