Pie-eating contest to aid Shepherd’s House

Youthful participants compete in a pie-eating contest during a past Fourth of July celebration in Mount Airy.

Some ambitious plans have been laid for a Fourth of July contest in Mount Airy, aimed at providing a bigger piece of the financial pie to a local homeless shelter.

Organizers are hoping the throngs of people who show up for an annual Independence Day parade through the downtown area will build up an appetite for the Third-Annual Pie Eating Contest for Charity.

The Shepherd’s House of Surry County will be partnering with Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies, the contest sponsor, for the event scheduled to begin at noon that day. All proceeds from it will go to the Shepherd’s House in order to support its ongoing efforts on behalf of the homeless population in and around Surry County.

Pie-eating contests will be held for both adults and youths as part of an overall holiday activity in the area of Franklin and Market streets downtown.

“We’re really trying to ramp it up this year,” Bob Meinecke, who chairs the board of directors for the Shepherd’s House, said of the contest event.

Live music, prizes and face painting for kids also will be part of the gathering that is designed to be a fun time for the entire family. Food items including hot dogs, chips and drinks also will be sold, Meinecke said.

In addition, two substantial prizes are up for raffle. One is a $1,000 shopping spree on a pre-paid Visa card. The second is a Rifleman package, including a Maverick 88 pump 12-gauge shotgun, Henry .22-caliber long rifle (which is a National Youth Foundation limited edition with only 200 made) and a Keltec Compact .380 ACP pistol.

Tickets for both drawings are $20 each, with all proceeds going to the Shepherd’s House.

Pre-registration is required for the pie eating contest by calling Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies at (336) 786-1537 or the Shepherd’s House, (336) 786-1420.

“And we hope to have about 100 participants,” said Meinecke, who is recruiting teams from local businesses to take part along with church groups.

Funding critical

“There are so many in need in Surry County,” Angela Shur, the owner of Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies, who is also a member of the Shepherd’s House Board of Directors, said in a prepared statement concerning her support for the homeless facility.

“Our ministry is designed to help those in need and ultimately, empower them to better their personal situations. With this partnership with the Third-Annual Pie Eating Contest for Charity, we will be able to not only raise money, but raise awareness for the homeless situation in our community” among both participants and spectators.

The proceeds from the pie-eating contest play a big role in the Shepherd’s House mission, officials say.

“It helps us continue to offer the services that we do and just the day-to-day operations,” Shepherd’s House Executive Director Amy Cook said Wednesday.

“It’s awesome that she does this,” Cook said of Shur’s involvement with the contest to aid the facility. “We’re trying to get on more stable ground…it just takes time to do that.”

“She is totally committed,” Meinecke said of Shur, who is sponsoring television advertisements for the upcoming contest.

“We are trying to make it our second major fundraiser of the year,” Meinecke said of the expanded pie-eating event’s importance for the Shepherd’s House. The other activity is a draw-down contest and auction held every winter at Cross Creek Country Club.

Meinecke explained that the homeless organization is unable to raise funds during a blackout period each year from late August through Thanksgiving. That is a time set aside for solicitation efforts by the United Fund of Surry, which supports the Shepherd’s House.

“It makes those months really lean,” Meinecke said of the effect on the homeless shelter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

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