Americans love holidays. Especially holidays that revolve around food. We’ve got Thanksgiving. We’ve got the Fourth of July. But how about a day to celebrate one of the nation’s favorite desserts?
We’ve got that too.
Jan. 23 is National Pie Day. Created by the American Pie Council, the event encourages individuals to celebrate pie by entering recipe contests. In addition, bakeries and restaurants get into the swing of things with pie giveaways and discounted pastries.
Locally, Cyrus O’ Leary Pies enthusiastically embraces the holiday. According to Dennis Dipo, who owns the company with Barclay Klingel and Cyrus Vaughn, the date of National Pie Day is not without debate. He said, “January 23 is the birthday of the founder of the Pie Council, but there are those who believe Pie Day should be celebrated on March 14.”
Why? Because 3.14 is pi, of course.
But controversy aside, each year the council chooses a theme for the celebration. Dipo said previous themes have included “Pie it Forward” and “Random Acts of Pieness.”
This year’s theme is “Hometown Heroes.” When the folks at Cyrus O’Leary’s heard the theme, they immediately thought of a special Spokane group they wanted to honor. On Saturday, Dipo and Pie Day coordinator Jo Shields delivered three cases of apple pies to the monthly meeting of the Lilac City Chapter of Pearl Harbor Survivors. Shields said the business being located so close to Fairchild Air Force Base has deepened their appreciation of the men and women who serve in the military.
“We totally appreciate our veterans. Some of our employees are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Shields.
But the Pearl Harbor Survivors won’t be the only beneficiaries of National Pie Day.
“During the week of the 23rd we’re going to offer discounts on pies at the base commissary,” said Shields. “We’ll also be delivering pies to area COPS shops and fire stations.” School volunteers will be honored as well. “For the past six years, we’ve celebrated Pie Day by baking pies with third-graders at Hamblen Elementary. But this year we’re going to deliver pies to the school volunteers.”
The Pearl Harbor Survivors were delighted by the pies and by the sincere gratitude and respect behind the gift. Speaking for the group, Ray Daves said, “Thank you for being so generous and bringing all these pies.”
Dipo believes honoring hometown heroes like these is a great way to celebrate National Pie Day. The note each Pearl Harbor Survivor got with their pies summed up the sentiment behind the gift. It read in part, “Please accept this pie as our show of appreciation and respect for your service to make our country free and a place the world envies. Without your willingness to sacrifice yourself we would not be living in a nation where freedom still rings true.”
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