He didn’t even flinch. Well, maybe a little. After all, this was a squishy, sweet sticky mess that was being shoved in his face.
But it was all for a good cause.
“We wanted to do it to raise money for the children,” said Sean Rose, wiping whipped cream pie off his face. A nearby flyer urges diners to “Put a pie in our face to put a smile on theirs.”
On a hot summer weekend, employees at O’Charley’s restaurant in Bloomington, Indiana, came to work on their day off to volunteer their time raising money for Riley Hospital for Children.
Under a big red Indiana University awning in the O’Charley’s parking lot, volunteers offered diners the opportunity to “pie” an O’Charley’s employee for a $5 donation. In exchange, participants received a $5 coupon off an O’Charley’s meal.
By the time the sun set, volunteers had raised more than $1,500 with donations still being accepted. “We will have the coupons available in the restaurant for the next three weeks,” Sean said. “We just won’t have the pie in the face offered anymore.”
Raising money for the Indianapolis hospital is an annual summer event for O’Charley’s. But this year, Sean and co-worker Adam Krug decided to jazz up the fundraiser. With the help of restaurant general manager Bill Georges, the two rounded up co-workers and other volunteers. They also got donations from local businesses.
“We just thought it would be fun and add some excitement,” Sean said. “It worked. I had a blast and we raised five times what we normally do.”
Disk jockey Mike Jones kept the outdoor music going with his Mac computer and big speakers. “Mike doesn’t even work here,” Sean said. “He just did this out of the goodness of his heart.”
For Trey and Arianna Scott, donating the money was the easy part. But the tots would have no part of shoving a pie into anyone’s face. Instead, they happily trotted inside for lunch.
“About 75 percent of the people did the pies and about 25 percent didn’t,” Sean said. For himself, Sean took 101 pies to his face. A nearby hose got a workout washing pie residue off sweaty faces.
“It’s ridiculous,” Sean said with a laugh. “I’ll be cleaning whipped cream out of my ears for days.”
As the fundraiser’s “grand finale,” boss Bill Georges seated himself on a bar stool in the parking lot and waited for the inevitable. Sure enough, the popular guy got it many times over. Employees had pitched in and donated $270 for the pleasure of putting a pie in the general manager’s face.
“He’s a very good natured guy,” Sean said, adding that the pie event is being planned again for next year. “He probably got 40 pies in all in his face.”
Local business who helped with donations include:
Bandana’s Bar & Grille
Monroe County Sports Hall of Fame
Smoke and Lotto
Clarke Family Homes
Kenny Bland Auction
Kountry Lane Bakery
Welch Fire Equipment Sales & Service