Strong to the Finish
Cape Cod’s Pairpoint Glassworks completes a special Boston Marathon project, while mourning a painful loss
The oldest working glassworks company in the United States, Pairpoint Glassworks has made its home for the last four decades in Bourne’s Sagamore village, tucked alongside the canal and situated nearly beneath the Sagamore Bridge. Pairpoint’s glassblowers spend their days transforming large gobs of superheated glass into sleek and unique vases, perfume bottles and suncatchers, and specialty glasses and cup plates. Pairpoint also makes awards that are handed out at golf tournaments and charity events, such as The Last Gasp, a fundraising bike race from Sandwich to Provincetown.
A few years ago, Pairpoint landed a contract to make the awards for perhaps the most famous annual event in all of New England: the Boston Marathon. Following each marathon since 2011, a majority of the top finishers in several categories have been presented with stunning glass awards from Long’s Jewelers, one of the marathon’s sponsors—and those awards were hand-blown for Long’s by the good folks at Pairpoint.
Since more than 100 individual awards are handed out each year, the work involved in this project is always substantial. Completing the pieces in preparation for this year’s marathon—to be held on Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 20—was a heavier burden than usual because Pairpoint’s warm and welcoming owner, Tom Fiocco, was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and he passed away at the end of August.
“Tom loved it that Pairpoint was the oldest working glass company [in the country] and that Boston was America’s oldest marathon,” says Holly Sullivan, a manager at the company. “He always thought that had a good ring to it.”
Fiocco, who lived in East Falmouth for the last decade, purchased Pairpoint in 2004. Sullivan, who has worked for a few owners during her 20 years with the company, described Fiocco as “personable, funny, and hands-on.”