American Red Cross’s Wayne County Pizza Contest was held March 26 at Newark Elks Lodge.

With 11 pizzerias vying for a taste of the gold, it was a pizza-lover’s dream come true. For five bucks, participants strolled from table to table savoring a multitude of flavors and crusts, while sampling 11 different pizzas and listening to music by Action Entertainment at the American Red Cross’s Wayne County Pizza Contest March 26 at Newark Elks Lodge.

Besides raising money, the contest, during Red Cross Month, was a way to reach out to communities, making them aware that Red Cross is present in the county, said Krystal Kowalski, financial development coordinator.

The brain storm of volunteer Griff Mangan, the contest idea took root and grew. Kowalski ran with it. Pizza places were ecstatic, she said, wanting to know when and where.

“I just wanted to do this so I can eat lots of pizza,” quipped Mangan, who said he always sees pizza ads, each claiming to have the best pizza. “I thought what fun it would be to have a challenge among pizza places, just to compare.”

And fun it was, as jesting and jokes flew among owners who each hawked their pies.

“I hope we win,” said Rob D’Arduini, owner of Nima’s Pizzerias in Palmyra with his father, James, who said they’d had a lot of fun no matter who wins.

And those who came to sample, well, ate and ate, some seeking a special something, a zest, in their pizza, before voting for a favorite.

“I look for a pizza that’s going to taste good cold,” said Kowalski, who proclaims tomatoes as the best topping, unlike Jim Love, chapter executive director, who insists pepperoni is the only way to go as far as toppings.

Jenna Stone likes the crust, the garlic, buttery crust her dad, Jim  bakes into the pizza at Stoney’s Pizzeria in Lyons.

Connor Barnes agreed it’s all in the crust, as he bit into a slice from Truck’s Oven in Sodus Point. But, siblings, Caleigh and Christian disagreed, adamant it’s the amount of cheesy that’s paramount.

When all was eaten, Trucks Oven of Sodus Point gobbled up the popular vote, with BB’s Pizzeria of Newark devouring top choice by judges Peter Blandino, mayor of Newark, Bill Moran, Christian Dan and Racing Randy from the Break Room 96.5 WCMF. Judges’ second choice was Stony’s Pizzeria of Lyons and third, Nima’s Pizza of Palmyra. Second in popular choice was Nima’s Pizzeria from Palmyra; third, BB’s Pizzeria of Newark.  

With more than 150 people consuming pizzas from BB’s Pizzeria of Newark, Double J’s Pizzeria of Sodus, Mark’s Pizzeria of Newark, New York Pizzeria of Red Creek, Nima’s Pizza of Palmyra, Pontillo’s Pizzeria of Macedon, Poppy’s Pizzeria of Sodus, Shell’s Pizzeria of Macedon, Stony’s Pizzeria of Lyons, Trucks Oven of Sodus Point, Vicari’s Pizzeria of Ontario, $750 was raised.

Those monies stay in Wayne County and go toward local disaster relief, said Kowalski, who calculated there had been 15 disasters since the first of the year, an average of five per month this winter.

“Funds raised through events like this allow us to always be there when disaster strikes,” said Love.
To see more photos from the day’s event, visit our photo gallery at