2011 March: Commentary

Pizza is a giving industry. The people behind the pizza business care, and we show it every day in myriad ways. All across the country, pizzerias sponsor Little League baseball teams, Girl Scout troop events, adult volleyball leagues … you name it. Pizza shop owners donate money and gift cards to local fund­raising efforts and provide pizza to community events. They cater birthday parties and business lunches. They get to know their customers by name and become inte­gral parts of the neighborhoods they serve.

Point blank: pizza cares.

Call me a man on a mission, because I think it’s high time we paint pizza pink later this year. October is both National Pizza Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness month. Breast cancer research happens to be an issue near and dear to my heart — my mother and mother-in-law are both breast cancer survivors. I bet you know someone who has been affected by the disease as well. While strides have been made, approximately 40,000 women still die from breast cancer each year. That’s roughly 110 deaths per day.

I believe that this hideous disease will one day be cured. Research centers across America work on promis­ing new treatments daily. When will a cure be found? I don’t know. But you and I are going to help that day come sooner rather than later.

In October, I’m going to be part of a small group that cycles from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington to raise money for breast cancer research. Pizza Today is proud to sponsor the cycling event. Publisher Pete Lachapelle and Art Director Josh Keown will both be making the ride with me, as will Mama Mimi’s Take ‘N Bake Pizza co-owner Jeff Aufdencamp. Jeff is an avid
cyclist who happens to be a two-time Ohio state cham­pion in the age 40 and over racing division — and his wife, Jodi, is a breast cancer survivor.

How can you help? For starters, you can hop on your bike and ride along for all or part of the trip this Octo­ber. I promise it’s going to be scenic, fun, challenging and rewarding all at the same time.

Beyond that, this fall I will be humbly asking Amer­ica’s pizzerias to donate 10 percent of their single-day sales on the date we finish our ride into Seattle. Or, if you’d rather donate a specific amount in advance or immediately after, you will be able to do that as well. The exact dates are not yet hammered out, but I will announce them here quite soon, along with informa­tion on how you can make those potentially life-saving donations.

If you are able, please give to the cause when the time comes. In the meantime, if you think you can help out in another way, I want to hear from you. E-mail me [jwhite@pizzatoday.com] and let me know how you think you can be of service … I’ll put you to work.

Best,

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