This week, eating pizza came with an added bonus: cash for local schools. In the eighth annual New Orleans Pizza school fundraiser, for every pizza ordered the company donated half of that sale to the customer’s school of choice. Becky Lang, manager at the Elmira New Orleans Pizza, said all the stores in Ontario participate in the fundraising program, which is held in May each year.
“Schools and daycares are invited to participate by sending home donation forms with staff and students,” she said.
The forms help identify which school will receive a donation when a purchase is made at the restaurant during the campaign.
Lang said her restaurant is committed to helping make the community a better place to live, play and learn.
“We enjoy supporting the local schools by helping them raise money so they can increase school programs and get better play ground equipment. We always look forward to working with all of the schools in our community and help them earn valuable dollars from this fundraiser.”
Lang sees the program as an easy fundraising opportunity for any school.
To date the restaurant chain has raised $776,000 across Ontario for local schools and daycares.
Lang said the community really gets behind the program.
“If it makes the schools money, people really get involved,” she noted. “We have some families that have three kids in school and we see them come in every night of the fundraiser to buy pizzas.”
Lang said this is one of the busiest times for the restaurant.
“It can get quite crazy. We are averaging about 200 fundraiser pizzas a night.”
This years’ fundraiser introduced Elmira residents to Smart Dough Joe, the mascot of New Orleans Pizza.
“We have had a wonderful response using Smart Dough Joe,” said Lang. “We have had him go to the schools to remind students about our fundraiser and we had him walk along Arthur Street to promote the program.”
Marlene Clark, a customer of the restaurant who has three children at Riverside Public School, was impressed by the promotion used by the restaurant.
“The kids brought home a flyer last week and today they brought home a balloon as a reminder,” said Clark. “It’s a great fundraiser to participate in.”
Donna Martin, another customer of the restaurant with three children in school agreed with Clark.
“It’s a great opportunity for the schools,” she said. “We have been coming each year and we get the best of both worlds because we raise money for our schools and feed the family.”