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Pizza profits benefit local cancer fund

Thanks to the efforts of the staff of The Original Pizza Place in Marietta, more than $2,800 was recently raised to help cancer victims in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The pizzeria has participated in the national fundraiser Slice of Hope since for several years.

“I think we’ve participated since 2013,” said Kasandra Ruscitto Pritchett, community relations manager.

Each year, the donation amount has increased. Twenty percent of their sales over a two-day period are donated to a chosen charity.

“The first year was $1,000, the second year was $1,500 and the third year was $2,400,” Pritchett said. “Then it was $2,600, then $2,600 and this year, it was $2,873.01.”

This is a nationwide fundraiser, but the money goes to local cancer charities.

“Slice of Hope started from Pizza Today, our industry’s magazine,” Pritchett said, noting the first year, donations were made to a national charity, the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Organization.

“All these pizzarias wanted to donate locally,” Pritchett said. “After the first year, they made it where you could choose your charity and they would still provide marketing resources.”

The Original Pizza Place decided to donate their proceeds to the Memorial Health Foundation’s Strecker Patient Emergency fund.

“We’ve donated to them each year since,” Pritchett said. “The donation comes from the Grand Central Mall and downtown Marietta locations.”

Daneka Hedges, executive director of the Memorial Health Foundation, said the foundation “assists the Memorial Health System and our community to provide quality, accessible healthcare services, regardless of a person’s ability to pay.”

The emergency fund is maintained from donations that assist patients who are unable to maintain a good quality of life due to financial constraints, Hedges said.

“Monies donated to the Strecker Patient Emergency Fund are used to assist patients with dental care that may be needed before a radiation treatment, camisoles, wigs, gas cards for financial assistance with transporting to and from appointments, and prescription assistance for medications directly connected to their treatment,” she added.

Pritchett said Slice of Hope started as a breast cancer fundraiser.

“And October is National Pizza Month, which further ties the two together,” Pritchett added.

She said it’s become a well-organized event.

“We try to ensure great customer service because we want the event to be a success,” she noted. “We’re thankful to our community and businesses who buy pizza for their offices and employees.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

•The Original Pizza Place raised more than $2,800 to help cancer victims through the Slice of Hope fundraiser.

•Money was donated to the Strecker Patient Emergency Fund.

• The fund is used to assist patients who are unable to maintain a good quality of life due to financial constraints.

Source: Times research.

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