Slice of Columbus 2017
Imagine yourself walking up to a smiling stranger who is standing in front of a table covered with hundreds of slices of pizza. As you approach this individual, they ask,
What kind of pizza would you like to try?
Would you like two pieces?
Actually, here. Just have one of each.
You kindly take the slice from this stranger-turned-friend (obviously now a friend, I mean.. they just gave you pizza..) and you dig in. After finishing your moderately-sized slice, you take a few more steps.
Another smiling stranger.
OFFERING YOU MORE PIZZA.
Friends and acquaintances of Columbus, I’m not lying to you when I tell you this dream can be a reality- it’s called Slice of Columbus!
The Pizza Story
Every September, The Development Board of Nationwide Children’s Hospital takes over the Columbus Commons for a magical evening of family fun including live music, free Dairy Queen Blizzards, and various children’s activities: face painting, crafts, putt putt, balloon animals, and more. Should I go on??
This year, 16 local pizza shops packed up their pies and headed to downtown Columbus to serve up their slices to the masses in hopes of winning the coveted “People’s Choice” award. But.. we will get to this year’s winners later!
The best part about Slice of Columbus? The local pizza shops donate their time and pizzas, so ALL proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Actually, the real best part about the event is that every year The Board selects a child as their “Children’s Champion” who represents the cause. This year’s Champion came to Slice of Columbus to not only join in on the pizza fun, but to announce the winners at the end of the night!
Nationwide Children’s Champion
This year’s Children Champion is an eleven year-old named Sal LoParo.
In 2015, Sal was diagnosed with two neuromuscular diseases: CMT and CIDP. Since then, he has endured weeks in the hospital, multiple tests and procedures, unending doctor appointments, and physical and occupational therapy sessions. He is still receiving treatments for CIDP and is slowly improving. CMT, though, is a progressive disease with no cure or treatment. Despite his challenges, Sal is blessed with optimism and determination, and inspires everyone around him with his courage. He works hard to fight the devastating effects of these diseases and is determined to raise awareness and support the search for a cure. He loves golf, baseball, swimming, cooking for his family and bike riding.
Sal had a great night at the Slice of Columbus, especially when he was able to announce this year’s winners! Speaking of winners…. HERE THEY ARE!
Critics’ Choice (Traditional Pizza):
Second: The Goat
Critics’ Choice (Specialty Pizza):
Third: (Tie!) Borgata and Tammy’s
Second: The Goat
Not only were the generous pizza shops a HUGE help to putting on this event, but I can’t forget all of the volunteers as well!
Speaking of winners, I had the incredible (and waitline busting) honor to be one of the 3 judges to select the winners for the Critics’ Choice pies this year! This meant that we had to taste one traditional pizza and one specialty pizza from EACH SHOP.
Ya’ll. That’s 32 pizzas to try. I’m still recovering.
In between bites and scorecards, I had the pleasure to meet my fellow judges: Chris Crader, the owner of Harvest Pizzeria, and Vince from Columbus by the Slice. Columbus BTS is a quirky and fun video series that captures five friends who travel around Columbus eating pizza. How great is that? Be sure to check them out. And you all already know my love for Harvest, they’re not in my “Top 10 Craves” for no reason!
In addition to the judges, I was fortunate enough to meet quite a few kind souls from the Nationwide Children’s team (and others) who help to put on the event. This volunteers could be helping with any number of tasks including set-up, pizza running from the refrigerated trucks to the teams at the ovens, selling beer and wine, collecting and counting vote ballots for the People’s Choice award, and helping us judges eat (way too much pizza) and pick out our favorite pies. The Board has even been putting on this event for so many years that they actually OWN the ovens and keep them in storage all year long just for this massive pizza party every September. There sure is a lot that goes behind SoC, that’s for sure!
Interested in attending next year? Check out the details on ticket prices below, and don’t forget to mark Slice of Columbus in your calendar and like their Facebook page for updates!
Adults: $14.00 Advance Purchase/$18.00 at the Door
Children 6 and older: $8.00 Advance Purchase/$10.00 at the door
Family Pass: $40.00 Advance Purchase/$45 at the door
Family Pass includes 5 free Pepsi products
Premium VIP Package: $75 per adult [$85 at the door] (children 12 and under are free with a parent premium ticket purchaser); Kids 13 to 18 ($20 with a parent premium ticket purchaser). Limited quantities available.
Get more out of the Slice of Columbus by experience by purchasing a VIP Ticket. VIPs enjoy all the entertainment and activities PLUS:
* Private tent with comfortable seating options
* Premium pizza tasting with no waiting
* Complimentary Pepsi products and bottled water
* Free selection of craft beers and wine (must be 21, ID required)
* Complimentary snacks & sides (breadsticks, salad)
* Celebrity waiters and bartenders
* Free parking
* One (1) Nationwide Children’s Hospital gift per ticket