Thursday, May 28, 2015

Deputies Get Pies in the Face for United Way Cause
March 7, 2014 | No Comments

Three Geauga County Sheriff’s Office deputies got a hefty taste of pie filling Wednesday with some crust on the side.

Three Geauga County Sheriff’s Office deputies got a hefty taste of pie filling Wednesday with some crust on the side.

The deputies — Lt. Aaron Graley, Lt. Gary Gribbons and Sgt. Gerald Farrow — had various kinds of pies thrown in their faces as part of a charity event, some of the pie filling even dripped on their uniforms, despite protective towels and plastic bags.

But all the droppings, sticky filling and general messiness was worth it.

“We’re doing it for a good cause,” Farrow said.

For the first time since 2008, the sheriff’s office held the annual event to raise money for the Geauga Hunger Task Force, Sheriff Dan McClelland said prior to the festivities.

The sheriff’s office teamed up with the hunger task force through a partnership with United Way Services of Geauga County. The entities are organizing a food and product drive, Lt. John Hiscox said.

Prior to the event, McClelland explained how it worked.

Employees donated either food items or money. They received one ticket for each item donated. They were then able to put their tickets into a ballot box and vote for a deputy of their choice to have a pie thrown in his or her face.

The throwers were determined by randomly picking from the ballot.

“We identified hunger pantries and found some that were empty,” McClelland said. “It was a creative way to add food.”

Many media were present, including local television stations.

Prior to the pie-throwing, about 10 pies were auctioned off, ranging between $10 and $26, including tollhouse chocolate chip pies, cranberry apple, peach glaze, caramel apple and peanut butter, with Hiscox acting as an auctioneer.

Among the purchasers included Geauga County Recorder Sharon Gingerich.

Hiscox was the first one up to pitch — so to speak.

But instead, he sold his pie to Chief Deputy Scott Hildenbrand, who splatted Farrow to large cheers.

Farrow’s wife, Nancy, chipped in her pie for an extra $5. Niehus, the next one up, heaved his pie at Graley, who heads the plainclothes division.

The third pie thrown was a team effort, with Gribbons as the unlucky victim.

Dispatcher Sallie Balsiger was slated to throw the pie as a solo effort, but she recruited other female employees to pound Gribbons.

At one point, Gribbons had six pies planted on him and one of the pie plates stuck to his head.

In all, their efforts raised about $200, in addition to the dozens of pounds of donated food displayed via a multi-layered stack of canned goods in a nearby office.

Kathleen Munch, resource development and communications manager for United Way Services of Geauga County, said there is a strong need for donations due to a struggling economy.

Afterwards, Farrow and his wife talked about what it meant to them. Both said they were happy to participate.

“I got more pleasure out of this than my husband did,” Nancy said, laughing.

She added the Geauga Hunger Task Force operates seven food banks around the county.

Anyone wishing to donate food or money can call the organization’s office at 216-436-2042.


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