Pizzas for Iraq a prelude?

  • U.S. troops enjoy pizza at a Fourth of July celebration at Camp Victory in Al Faw Palace in Baghdad after retired Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Evans of Elk Grove Village led an effort to send pizzas there.

    U.S. troops enjoy pizza at a Fourth of July celebration at Camp Victory in Al Faw Palace in Baghdad after retired Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Evans of Elk Grove Village led an effort to send pizzas there. Photo courtesy of DHL

 
 
Published7/18/2008 12:05 AM

Yes, the pizzas did arrive in Iraq in time for a Fourth of July party.

For those who doubted it could happen, those 2,000 deep-dish pizzas made it to Iraq and fed 8,000 troops serving there for the holiday.

 

U.S. troops parked on the tarmac began cheering as the planes carrying Lou Malnati's pizzas touched down in Iraq.

They might not have known it at the time, but they were applauding the efforts of Elk Grove Village retired Air Force Master Sgt. Mark Evans and his son.

Evans and 16-year-old son, Kent, cooked up the idea to send 300 of their favorite deep-dish pizzas to soldiers serving in the Middle East.

Thanks to the media attention and public donations following the initial Daily Herald story on their Pizzas 4 Patriots, they were able to send 2,000 pizzas.

After being on five airplanes and repacked in dry ice two times, the 2,000 pizzas arrived at 10:15 a.m. Baghdad time.

As the planes landed and were being unloaded, a DHL employee reported: "There was a very large contingent of soldiers and vehicles parked on the tarmac celebrating and cheering the arrival."

DHL donated the shipping costs - a whopping $60,000.

Evans plans to keep collecting money to make sure every U.S. soldier gets a piece of pizza.

"We'd like to do it every year if possible," Evans said.

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Evans also plans to feed his favorite pie to soldiers stationed in the states for Veterans Day.

For more information on the project log onto pizzas4patriots.com.

Des Plaines, ComEd partnership: That knock on your business' door could help you.

Des Plaines is participating in ComEd's business visitation program.

The program involves visiting with local businesses.

Based on information culled from the visits, ComEd will conduct a detailed analysis and Des Plaines will work with ComEd to address the issues that might have a negative impact on businesses.

The idea is to make sure businesses in Northern Illinois stay viable.

rboykin@dailyherald.com

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