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Buddy’s Pizza Fundraiser on April 29: Transforming Lives with Every Slice

A robust broth featuring a medley of vegetables or chicken takes center stage as the primary dish presented by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

However, at the fundraiser, it is the Detroit-style pizza pie that attendees will indulge in to show their support for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s mission, services, and programs for those in need.

This longstanding fundraiser, now in its 48th year, is a tradition akin to Buddy’s Pizza.

“Inaugurated in 1929, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has long depended on community backing to carry out our mission,” stated Gary Wegner, the executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, in a press release. “Through our partnership with Buddy’s Pizza, we have discovered a steadfast ally in aiding our neighbors. Detroiters understand the importance of looking out for one another in our city.”

Throughout the Slice of Life campaign, restaurants statewide will contribute 20% of both dine-in and carry-out sales to their enduring charitable partner. Residents of Michigan are encouraged to show their support by visiting any of the 23 locations spread across Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. All proceeds from the pizza sales and other menu items will be directly donated to bolster the Capuchin’s community outreach services, which have experienced a significant increase with a growing number of individuals seeking assistance daily.

In 2023, over 3 million pounds of food were distributed to individuals and families in need, and nearly 1,000 hot meals were provided daily at the Capuchin’s two meal program sites.

The genesis of the campaign dates back to 1976 when the proprietors of the original Buddy’s Pizza establishment, situated at Six Mile Road and Conant in Detroit, sought ways to give back to the local community. Employees were polled for suggestions on organizations to support, and the team unanimously selected their neighboring charity, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Apart from the annual Slice for Life initiative, Buddy’s Pizza extends continuous weekly support to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen throughout the year by donating pizzas served at the organization’s meal sites.

This year’s event promises a special opportunity. Want to own a slice of history? Buddy’s Pizza will be auctioning off a few of its square cooking pans to raise money for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on April 29. Photo courtesy of Buddy’s Pizza

Interested in owning a piece of history? Buddy’s Pizza will be auctioning off a few of its square cooking pans on April 29 to raise funds for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Photo courtesy of Buddy’s Pizza

To commemorate the historic franchise, Buddy’s Pizza will offer fans a unique chance to own a part of history and back the Slice for Life initiative. An exclusive online auction of five authentic Buddy’s Pizza custom square pans from locations in Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor will be conducted during the campaign. All proceeds from the pan auction will support the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Complete details on the one-time-only pan auction can be found at [auction link].

Since the inception of the fundraiser, Buddy’s Pizza has contributed over \(4 million to aid the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and its transformative endeavors, including the \)100,000 raised by patrons last year.

“The essence of ‘Detroit Style’ is encapsulated in the enduring partnership between two iconic neighbors: Buddy’s Pizza and the Capuchin Soup Kitchen,” Wegner remarked. “We are fortunate to have Buddy’s Pizza as our neighbor, embodying the spirit of community.”

To illustrate the impact, here are the programs bolstered by the Slice of Life initiative:

  • Two meal program sites offering full-course, nutritious meals to hundreds of men, women, and children daily, alongside a shower program, emergency clothing, and case managers.
  • Capuchin Services Center, providing a food pantry and clothing pantry where guests can select items of their choice. Emergency assistance is also accessible.
  • On the Rise Bakery and Café, creating employment opportunities for returning citizens and individuals who have recently completed substance use disorder treatment.
  • Jefferson House, a 12-bed, CARF-accredited, no-cost substance use disorder treatment center aiding individuals in overcoming addiction and reclaiming their lives.
  • Earthworks Urban Farm, a 1.25-acre certified organic farm supplying produce to the soup kitchen.
  • Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program, offering after-school tutoring, art therapy sessions, a lending library, and seasonal family activities.

“We are honored to collaborate with our patrons each year to support the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, a steadfast community institution making a tangible difference in the lives of our neighbors in need,” expressed Chris Tussing, CEO of Buddy’s Pizza. “Assisting the dedicated and selfless team at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen with the essential funding they require to continue serving some of our most vulnerable community members is a source of pride for us, a tradition we have upheld for nearly half a century, and one we are privileged to continue this year.”

For individuals unable to dine in or order carryout at a Buddy’s Pizza location on April 29, 2024, yet still interested in supporting the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the opportunity remains open.