BELDING — With the aroma of freshly baked dough, spicy pepperoni and a variety of cheeses wafting through the air of the Alvah N. Belding Memorial Library, more than 60 members of the community filled their plates with slice after slice of delicious pizza from five Belding businesses with an intent to discover who was offering up the most tantalizing slice.
Members of the Friends of the Alvah N. Belding Library group celebrated the first pizza contest and used book sale Wednesday evening, serving up slices of pizza, soft drinks and even desserts to hungry patrons.
Friends of the Library Membership Director Windy Hartuniewicz said she was very pleased with the turnout they received for their first attempt.
“This was something new,” she said. “I’m so happy with tonight’s turnout. We only ended up with a few slices of pizza left over.”
The five businesses that participated in the contest, providing four large pepperoni pizzas each for the event, were B.C. Pizza of Belding, Belding Party Store, Lombardo’s Pizzaria, Wesco of Belding and Your House of Pizza. Leppink’s Food Center provided beverages.
After tallying up the votes, which people submitted through a blind process by voting ‘A’ through ‘E’ for the five businesses, Hartuniewicz announced that Lombardo’s Pizzeria had won the contest by a single vote, receiving 16 total votes. Belding Party Store came in second with 15 votes and B.C. Pizza in third with 13.
Faith Strouse, 11, of Belding, was one of the 16 who voted for Lombardo’s as her favorite slice.
“I voted for E,” she said. “I liked that one because it had a lot of cheese.”
Strousesaid she managed to taste every slice, but was too full to finish each of them.
Lillian Oswald, 10, of Belding, said she had no problem devouring all five slices from each business and while she enjoyed them all, her favorite slice came from the Belding Party Store.
“I ate every slice,” she said. “My favorite was ‘A.’ It tasted like I’d had it before and I really like that one. It was a war between ‘A’ and ‘E.’ It was really hard to choose.”
Included within the taste contest was a used book sale, which Library Director Deb Jones said raised more than $80 to be used to purchase additional items for the library.
“It was a nice time to feature our used book sale,” Jones said. “We made more than $80 tonight, which is really good for one night as we sell them pretty cheap.”
Jones said she was pleased with the turnout for the event and thanked the Friends of the Library group for hosting the contest.
“The Friends of the Library group did all of the work tonight,” she said. “We’re very grateful for all that they do for the Library.”
Upon winning the contest, Lombardo’s Pizzeria owner Jim Lombardo said he was thankful to everyone who voted his pizza as the best of the evening.
“I love being able to participate in these types of events,” he said. “All our pizzas are homemade. My grandpa came over from 1955 from Sicily, Italy, working three jobs until he could open up a pizza place. It’s great to see that the community appreciates the quality of our pizza.”
Hartuniewicz said she is hoping the friends group will continue to host similar events in the future at the library.
“We want to do this again, but we might try and see who has the best subs or grinders next time,” she said.