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Inaugural Cleveland Pie Festival cooks up scholarship money

Posted at 6:56 PM, Aug 01, 2021

CLEVELAND — What better way to end a weekend that with pie? You can do so while helping to send local students to college.

It all started with a tweet from a local radio host, that morphed into a pie-palooza to benefit his scholarship foundation.

“This all started with one simple tweet from Jimmy Malone,” said Emily Thome from Pie Eyed Love. “It turned into a pie argument over what is the proper pie topping for apple pie.

But whether you’re a fan of crumble topping or a top crust, after hashing it out and expanding the debate, they came up with a way that pie could help students hear in northeast Ohio.

“We ask young people to make some really important decisions with not a lot of experience of information,” Malone said.

So Thome and Malone partnered with Masons Creamery in Ohio City to bake up the inaugural Cleveland Pie Festival.

The event raises money for Malone’s scholarship foundation. Pie lovers can donate online in advance or in-person at the event to get a pie pass for a slice of pie and ice cream.

“We’re giving people pie here today, but I think the best thing you can give people is opportunity,” Thome said.

For the last 25 years, the Jimmy Malone Scholarship Program has helped more than 280 students afford a college education. With an emphasis of going to school here in the Buckeye state, students receive four years of financial assistance.

“Everybody going into college things I’m going to make a million dollars a year when I graduate. Then they graduate this debt, and they can’t handle it,” Malone said. “I try to let them know, the kids that graduate with less debt are the ones who can buy a car, take a vacation, buy a house, have a good life instead of being consumed with how am i going to pay for this debt.”

Nine different flavors were supplied by Pie Eyed Love, Bakes by Bug, and Rood Food & Pie with the proceeds from donations going towards helping students get a bigger slice of their own pie.

“It’s touching when you get a card or a phone call saying ‘Jimmy, I'm getting ready to graduate.’ And I’m thinking ‘I just met you a week ago. Four years has just ripped by,” Malone said. “I really love the kids. They meant he world to me. When people are willing to help support them, I tea up a lot. It’s a wonderful thing to see people concerned with our young people.”

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