2012 May: Commentary

IMany of you followed along last fall as Art Director Josh Keown and I
cycled from Portland to Seattle to raise money for the Karen Mullen
Breast Cancer Foundation through Slice of Hope. It was a worthy endeavor that tested our physical limits. Much more importantly than that, however, it did something very special for the pizza industry — it showcased ours as the most giving, caring segment in foodservice.

As pizzerias across the nation got behind the cause, they opened new and meaningful dialogues with their customers. They heard stories of heartbreak and triumph from those who have watched loved ones either succomb to or conquer breast cancer. They cried both tears of sadness and joy alongside their patrons, and the emotion wasn’t some “guerilla marketing” tactic — it was genuine and, therefore, endearing.

Approximately 200 pizza operations supported Slice of Hope in 2011. Together, they raised just a touch more than $100,000 for the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation, a national organization that supports cutting edge breast cancer research at America’s leading labs. They also made new customers for life by supporting a cause that resonates so strongly with the American public.

After Slice of Hope 2011, I began immediately getting letters asking if we were doing it again. With that kind of enthusiasm brewing for the charitable event, how could we not repeat the effort in 2012? Of course we’re doing it again! But we need your help.

For this year’s event, we’ll be cycling from Jacksonville to Naples, Florida, October 8-12. We’ll finish with a fundraising party at Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano on October 12. The folks at Aldo’s have big plans for a blockbuster night, but we still need help in Jacksonville and all points in between. If your pizzeria is en route from Jacksonville to Naples and you’d like to be involved by hosting a fundraising party with the Slice of Hope cyclists, I want to hear from you.

In the coming months I’ll pass on more details about Slice of Hope 2012. Just like last year we’ll have a pledge form online to accept donations. We’ll also design and sell new t-shirts, with the profits going to the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation. Last year we sold out of shirts pretty quickly, so we’ll order more this time around! (And, yes, ladies — we know you want pink ones…).

Best,

Jeremy White, editor-in-chief
jwhite@pizzatoday.com