Pizza puts the “Fun” in Fundraiser….

Did you know that American’s eat 350 slices of pizza per second and 100 acres of pizza per day?!

Well the residents of Columbus made a significant dent in that stat last week at “Slice of Columbus,”  one of my favorite fundraisers held  annually to benefit the hospital  Can you guess why?  Well there’s the pizza of course (as much as you can eat with the purchase of a $15 ticket) but I love this family event and the friendly competition it features among Columbus best pizza shops.   That’s right – more than 19 shops, donating more than 300 pizzas each – all competing for bragging rights and the recognition as Columbus’ best pizza!

The event was held this year at Huntington Park and I went “behind the scenes” to see how this all comes together (yes, it was a tough assignment but anything for the blog).  First, kudos to the Development Board  for getting this huge event organized every year.  They are a fun volunteer group of Columbus business professionals who raise funds for the hospital and have a great time doing it.

So…how do you serve 5,700 large pizzas in 4 hours?  First a lot of pizza ovens and a lot of volunteers.  That’s right, every pizza is baked to order by the competing shops with 13 pizza ovens brought in for the occasion.  Everyone sets up shop in “pizza alley” and brings out their top secret recipes.  I had fun hanging  out with the crew from Mellow Mushroom pizza as they cranked out pizzas with ingredients ranging from traditional sausage and pepperoni to buffalo chicken and goat cheese.  One of the most unusual samplings, from Romeo’s Pizza, was their spaghetti and meatball pizza.  I’m more of a traditional girl but it was a blast to see everyone working together and the runners carry hot pizza to the serving stations and the judges.

Yes, the judges.  This is a competition and there were celebrities and serious foodies on hand to select their top choices among the competitors.  I asked Angela Pace from 10-TV how she managed to eat pizza from all 19 shops.  Angela, a veteran judge since the first Slice of Columbus event, has a technique.  “You never eat the whole slice.  It’s all in the first bite. If you see me put it down after one bite that’s not a good sign.  Angela’s favorite pizza?  “Thin crust, well done, lots of cheese, good sauce that is never overpowered by the toppings.”  I’m right there with you Angela!

The Judges award their winners and every attendee gets to vote in the “People’s Choice” category.  Click here to see all this year’s winners and congrats to my friends at Mellow Mushroom and Romeo’s for both winning in the People’s Choice Category.

So join us next year.  If you’re interested in getting on the mailing list or better yet volunteering, email Cindy Creedon at Cynthia.Creedon@NationwideChildrens.org.

Also, be sure to comment here if you have favorite shops you’d like us to invite to the 2012 Pizza Challenge.  Yum!

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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