PIZZA EATING CONTEST PROVES A FUNDRAISING SUCCESS

Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen in Branson, Mo. sponsored their second annual Charity Pizza Eating Competition to benefit the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks (BCFO). The event, aptly titled, “PIZZA with a PURPOSE” took place on SATURDAY, October 27 outside Luigi’s on Hwy 248 in Branson. Aaron Orsinger of Branson, took first place by finishing his pizza in just 2 minutes and 53 seconds and won the grand prize of $200 and free pizza for a year.  In total, 28 people participated in the contest, nearly tripling the amount of contestants from last year.  The combined total of participant entry fees, charitable donations and raffle sales was just over $1,600, all of which goes directly to the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. 
 
The goal of the contest was to eat one of Luigi’s large (14”) thin-crust cheese pizzas in the shortest amount of time. Technically, another participant, Bryce Jordan, Branson High School junior and varsity football defensive lineman, finished his pizza fastest in just two minutes and 46 seconds, but Jordan was ineligible to win because he’s the son of Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen’s owners, Chris and Michelle Jordan. 
 
College of the Ozarks student, Josh Martin, won second place with two minutes and 59 seconds.  Martin, who competed and won third place last year, beat his previous time by 45 seconds.  This year’s third place winner was Branson High School junior and receiver for the varsity football team, Austin L’Hommedieu.  L’Hommedieu finished in three minutes and 37 seconds and even competed one-handed, due to a broken arm.
 
One of the main highlights of the afternoon included a face-off between eight members of the Branson Fire Department who competed against each other during the event. 
 
“It was thrilling to see the guys from Branson Fire & Rescue come out to support the event again this year.  Each time they keep adding contestants, so pretty soon we’ll have the entire Fire Department participating.  As far as the contest goes, these guys run into burning buildings for a living, so a challenge like this is like a walk in the park,” says Chris Jordan, owner and operator of Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen.
 
Several area businesses helped make this year’s event bigger and better.  Employees from the Welk Resort and Theater in Branson put a team together to compete, and with a matching gift from their corporate headquarters, donated a total of $300 to the cause.  New Branson business, Kohl’s, had several store employees volunteer to help run the event, and in addition made a corporate donation of $500 to the BCFO.
 
“At last year’s event we raised approximately $500 total for the BCFO, so we’re thrilled to report that we’ve more than tripled that amount this year.  We love having pizza eating contests, and because our anniversary each October coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness month, we use the lure of our delicious food to raise money for such an important cause. We hope that each year it gets bigger and even more people come out to support the event,” says Jordan.
 
Luigi’s Pizza Kitchen and the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks would like to thank all the local merchants who donated items to the raffle, including Branson Family Fun Factory, Waxy O’Shea’s, Branson Meadows Cinema, Legends in Concert, Cold Stone Creamery, Fuddruckers, Dunkin’ Donuts, Chateau on the Lake, Casa Fuentes and Branson Belle Boutique.
 
LUIGI’S…Proud to dish up REAL PIZZA
For a REAL GOOD CAUSE!