Pizza Palooza (Sun. July 07, 2024) Blossom Heath Park, St. Clair Shores

Thanks to Detroit News for this:

Who makes the best pizza in St. Clair Shores?

It’s a question that resident Bryan Owens had heard asked so many times that he began to wonder if there was a way to put the city’s many, many pizzerias to the test. As a member of the St. Clair Shores Optimist Club, Owens decided to put on a Pizza Palooza, a celebration of pizza and civic pride that will take place at Blossom Heath Park on Sunday.

He asked more than 30 businesses that make pizza in the Shores to be part of his event, which is raising funds for a local child with autism who is in need of a life-changing therapy. Thirteen restaurants jumped at the chance and will be vying for bragging rights on Sunday when winners will be determined in four categories: people’s choice and judges’ panel pick for best square pizza, best round pizza and best gluten-free pizza.

The participants are a mix of national brands, local chains and area restaurants that serve pizza. They include Gilbert’s Lodge, Ferlito’s Restaurant, Firehouse Pub, Shores Inn, Sorrento Pizza, Detroit Style Pizza Co., Philly’s Original Cheesesteaks, Bommarito Bakery, Bourbon Shores Bar and Grill, Little Italy Pizza, Ray’s Pizzeria, Jet’s and Domino’s.

It’s $3.00 entry and try a slice of pizza, and $10 for four slices from participating competitors. There will also be beer and soft drinks for sale, courtesy of Petitpren beverage distributors, Baffin Brewery and Roseville Vending. Local shop Party Adventure on Greater Mack has also donated cups, plates, balloons and more for Pizza Palooza. Funds will go towards the St. Clair Shores Optimist Club’s effort to raise $9,000 for a local child in need.

“We do a coat drive in October and people bring mittens and coats and hats for the kids, we like to focus on kids in the area. It’s my favorite charity because you can actually put a coat on a kid’s back, it’s not like other charities where money goes all over the country and you don’t really see what happens,” said Owens, who is one of about 25 members of the St. Clair Shores Optimist Club.

For Pizza Palooza, Owens was thinking of raising money for another local scholarship, but then he heard about William Kemp, a 2 1/2-year-old boy with autism. His grandmother Michelle Sand was trying to raise funds for him to get a stem cell therapy that aims to help him with his verbal abilities. Owens and Sand connected while both doing work at the Senior Activity Center.

“The sooner they can apply therapy to the frontal lobe of the brain while it’s developing, the better he’s going to be for the rest of his life,” says Owens, adding that he’s proud that the local businesses are volunteering to put on a fun event that will help someone local.

“This is why I love living in St. Clair Shores because, this is what happens, the community comes together for things like this,” he said.

Pizza Palooza is outdoors noon-6 p.m. Sunday, July 7, at Blossom Heath Park, 24800 Jefferson in St. Clair Shores.

Optimist Clubs

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