by Timothy Chipp
Niagara Gazette — A dozen pizzerias, from Lewiston and Wilson to Niagara Falls, are going head-to-head in a sauce and cheese grudge match looking to be named tops in the county. And it's all benefiting the SPCA of Niagara.
Dave Bauer, who serves as chairman of the shelter's fundraising committee, said a shelter employee approached him with the idea and he quickly turned it into what promises to be a tasty event.
"I fell in love with the idea and we took it and ran with it," Bauer said. "I said 'We don't have a Pizza Fest in Niagara County.' Well, we do now."
For $15 a person, which goes to the shelter, hungry guests can get 15 food coupons, which can be redeemed for trial-sized slices at participating pizzerias. They'll also be given a vote card, which they'll be able to place in a drop box for their favorite.
At the end of the night, the public will have full stomachs, the shelter will have new money and the pizzerias will have new customers – while one also receives a trophy. It's a win-win-win, Bauer said.
But the event, which runs from 5 to 11 p.m. tonight in the Volare Lodge, located at 56th Street and Kies Avenue, is more than just a way to fill the stomach for a great cause. The SPCA is also bringing some live entertainment, of both the two- and four-legged variety.
There will be a DJ on hand playing some popular music and hosting the event. But the stars of the show are bound to be the handful of cats and dogs from the Lockport Road shelter who will be on hand for a little in-person loving.
One puppy in particular which has garnered a lot of attention in the last two weeks, the pit bull Dillon, and he'll be available to meet people and provide them with plenty of wet faces.
"He's adorable," Bauer said. "He's all over our Facebook and our webpage. He loves kissing, he's so happy to be around people."
Dillon, a four-month-old pit bull, was found by Bauer on 24th Street about two weeks ago. At a time in his life when he should have weighed between 25 and 30 pounds, Dillon came in at nine. So after a conversation with the puppy's owner, he said, they agreed to surrender the dog to the shelter, where he's gained two pounds and supplied a lot of happy-go-lucky licks.
Whether you enjoy kisses or pepperoni, or both, Bauer said the event is going to be a good time for everyone.
"This is going to be a very fun event," he said. "Everyone will be able to sample a lot of pizza, And the restaurants will be able to hand out menus and get new customers. It's a cheap way to advertise and support shelter at the same time."