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Sunday, October 2,2011

Pizzeria jumps into battle against cancer

By Bentley Weisel

A local pizza outlet is getting involved in raising money for cancer through the Slice of Hope program.

You cant go anywhere without finding someone who has been affected by this disease, said John Gutekanst, owner of Avalanche Pizza. It has become so widespread, so we want to do anything we can to help.

A Slice of Hope is a fundraiser through the Karen Mullen Breast Cancer Foundation, a national non-profit charity based in Seattle. The foundation dedicates all of its proceeds to breast-cancer research in order to fight the deadly disease.

Its really awesome because all of the proceeds are going directly to research and no one is taking their cut, Gutekanst said. All of the money will be going to finding out what is causing this so they can find a cure, and that makes it all worth it.

Friday, Oct. 7, has been declared National Pizza Party Day by Slice of Hope, and pizzerias all over the country will be partaking in this charitable event, including Avalanche, located at 329 E. State St. They will be donating 10 percent of all their proceeds that day to the foundation.

We try to participate as much as we can with the community and charitable events, but we havent done anything quite like this before, Gutekanst said. It should go over well since Fridays are always are our busiest night, and the community has always responded really well with anything we do.

Avalanche was asked to participate in the event through Pizza Today magazine, the largest pizza publication in the nation.

Last year they asked to ride bikes with them for a fundraiser for the foundation, and now it has morphed into a wider-reaching thing, and some of my favorite pizzerias all over the country are involved, too, Gutekanst said.

Avalanche Pizza is open from 10 a.m. until 4 or 5 a.m. on Friday. Any additional donations are welcome and will be recorded and given directly to the foundation.

If the 10 percent of our proceeds can help anyone in our community, then I will do it every year until they find a cure, Gutekanst said.

Another local pizza outlet also is getting involved in fighting breast cancer. The Hungry Howies Pizza chain, including the outlet at West Union and Shafer Street in Athens, throughout October is serving pizzas in bright-pink boxes and making a donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation for every pizza purchased. Customers also can add a donation to their order.


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