Gooey, good food supports good cause

Photo by Michele Murphy Brookside High School Interact Club President Logan Wood and Avon Lake High School Key Club Vice-President Lucy Ross enjoy a slice of pizza during North Coast Rotary’s annual Great Pizza Bake-off, a college scholarship fund-raiser held annually during Avon Lake Homecoming festivities.

 

By MICHELE MURPHY

AVON LAKE- Pizza delivery vehicles, whose car roof signs boasted seven company names and logos, began pulling into the long winding driveway leading to Avon Lake High School’s Commons off Avon Belden Road a few minutes before 5 p.m. last Thursday. The annual Great Pizza Bake-off was about to begin.

Part of the district’s annual Homecoming festivities, local pizzerias pound out dozens of cheesy, hot pies with every imaginable topping for about 600 hungry guests. For just $5, participants eat all the pizza they want over two hours. Proceeds from the North Coast Rotary-sponsored event go to their college scholarship fund. Avon Lake School Superintendent Bob Scott said in an email Friday the event netted $3,000.

The smiles, laughter and friendly chatter, even among strangers, suggested it also raised a great deal of goodwill. The place was a beehive of activity as guests started to pour in. Things inside were ready, in large part due to student volunteers who take lead roles in running the event. Members of Avon Lake High School’s Key Club and Sheffield-Sheffield Lake’s Brookside High School Interact Club sat behind tables where beverages and cookies were sold. They were also at stations ready to do face-painting, or apply temporary face or hand tattoos to entertain younger children. They even set up a Putt-Putt for Polio range and, for a $1 donation, golfers old and young, could take a shot at a hole-in-one. The donations were earmarked for programs to eradicate polio in developing nations, according to Brookside senior Logan Wood, who is president of Interact. Students also cleared tables and served as program emcees to keep things hopping.

Avon Lake High School junior, and vice-president of the 110-member Key Club, stopped momentarily from her tasks and said, “I love this event.” She is now a junior and has worked the bake-off for three years. She said she enjoys helping in the community, “because the community always helps back.”

Logan lauded the 14 students who were there to work the event. She said participating in Interact, a relatively new program at Brookside, “is a really good way to be involved at school.” Wood also noted it was a good way to get to know other students. Both said they enjoyed the community service aspect of their respective clubs.

By 5:30 p.m., hundreds had walked through the doors. Many milled from table to table as they tried to decide which pizza to try first, then second, then who knows?

Among the crowd were retired Avon Lake teachers and residents Cheryl Lister and Toni LeMatte. After deliberating over pizza selections, Lister said, “We come every year. It’s a lot of fun.”

Families, older couples and students also checked out pizza offerings. Some students, still standing, gobbled up the gooey meat and veggie-topped dough without missing a beat in chatter with classmates.

Participating restaurants included: Coleone’s of Avon; Domino’s of Avon Lake; Doughboys of Sheffield Lake; Master Pizza of Avon; Pizza Hut of Avon Lake; Zeppe’s of Avon; and The Dogg House of Avon Lake.

Voted People’s Choice Award by those who attended the event was Coleone’s. Other winners included Best Speciality Pizza – Doughboy’s; Chef’s Choice – Dogg House; and Best Pepperoni – Domino’s.

 

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