Pizza & Prevention raises over $45,000 for fire department

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Fox's Pizza Den Pizza & Prevention 11th annual fundraiser has broken more records in raising money for the Punxsutawney Fire Department over the weekend.

The final totals are still coming in, but as of Sunday, Fox's Pizza sold close to 5,000 pizzas and pizza coupons during the annual fire department fundraiser, said Scott Anthony, owner of Fox's Pizza Den in Punxsy.

Converting that into dollars, it totals $45,449.79, with the money donated in tips yet to be added to the tally, Anthony said, adding that the public has embraced this as an event more than a fundraiser.

"Who would ever expect have a line of customers standing outside the door and onto the sidewalk on North Findley Street?" he said. "The public now looks at this as an event, and they want to be a part of it by coming down to the shop."

Anthony said there were people coming in prior to starting time to purchase Big Daddy pizza coupons for $9.11 — the same
price of a pie delivered by firefighters on Saturday.

"Then we just got so busy, and once again this year the coupon cards continue to increase in sales and were about 65 percent of the total," Anthony said.

"I think we made about 1,500 pizzas Saturday, and at that we were running four ovens all day long," he said. "That was overwhelming for the help we had."

He said there was a lot of help from the fire department at the end of the fundraiser and throughout the whole day.

Anthony said there was a small glitch during the day where volunteers fell behind a little bit.

"It was exhausting for the people that were there; it was so much work and it was all at once, and you didn't have any time to just ease into it," he said.

Anthony said the public was very patient for the most part.

"I think there were only three people who registered complaints. Out of a day where we sold that many Big Daddies, it was pretty good," Anthony said, adding that he doesn't know how to top this year’s fundraiser.

Bryan Smith, Punxsutawney Fire Department chief, said he and the rest of the department are just blown away with the response from the public in supporting the fire department.

"On behalf of the entire fire department, I just want to thank the community and Scott (Anthony) for their generosity in assisting the fire department, especially during this economic downturn the country has been experiencing the last several years," Smith said.

Last year Pizza and Prevention raised $34,444.

Anthony said he hoped to have a complete total, including all of the tips, within the next few days.

"I just want to thank the public for supporting this event in spectacular fashion once again," Anthony said.