Pizza shop damaged by fire helps community

NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – Augustine’s Pizza likes to donate pizzas during the holidays, but can’t make the pies because a Nov. 8 fire damaged its nearly 60-year-old building.

But on Monday, the owners found another way to donate and put a smile on some kids’ faces.

“This has been a rough time for our family. It is something that broke our heart,” Augustine’s CEO Frank Augustine said.

One thing that was not damaged in the fire was a truck full of 1,800 pizzas that were supposed to go to area grocery stores.

“We have a lot of major chains that we deal with, we have a lot of different suppliers, different small stores. We said ‘somebody is going to get mad at us,'” Augustine’s owner, Frank Augustine said.

Rather than make a nice pizza profit, the younger Frank came up with an idea to sell the pizzas to the public for $10 each and take all that dough and donate to Toys for Tots.

When word got out, people started lining up to support the Augustine’s. By 5 p.m. Monday, they hit the 800 mark.

“Knowing Frank, he is very community oriented and he takes this to heart,” Anthony Pecoraro of New Castle said.

The family plans on buying all the toys on Tuesday.

“To me, it is a way of giving back and saying ‘we’re down, but we’re not out. And we are going to do what we can for kids,” the younger Frank Augustine said.

The Augstine family said one of the best parts about Monday was just being able to see their normal everyday customers. The greeted everyone who bought pizza.

“It is nice to talk, see their smiles and let them know we will be back again soon,” the older Frank Augustine said.

The pizza shop sold 1,100 of the pizzas.

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