Maryville restaurant honors emergency service personnel with pizza bash

When law enforcement and fire personnel from multiple Blount County agencies responded to Maryville Municipal Building late last fall, there wasn’t an emergency but there were plenty of hungry bellies.

Papa Johns Pizza was doing a special Hometown Super Heroes promotion in connection with the DVD/Blue Ray release of the Spider Man III movie and the franchises were giving certificates for free pizza to emergency service workers throughout the country.

Dan Turner, the general manager of the Papa John’s restaurant in Alcoa, took the promotion a step further. He and his staff brought pizza to the Maryville Municipal Building and fed fire and law enforcement personnel from Maryville, Alcoa and Blount County as well as Rural/Metro Ambulance Service and Blount County Rescue Squad, Turner said.

“We got a good response. We gave away 600 slices of pizza. and there was cotton candy and inflatables for kids to jump on,” he said. “We try to do a little community involvement. Unfortunately it was a little bit of a cold day. We wouldn’t have minded if a thousand people showed up. It was one of those things, probably 150 people came through.”

About 78,000 pizzas nationwide were given away , which is more than 300,000 hometown super heroes, Turner said.

Maryville Fire Chief Ed Mitchell said the community is often good to the department. “What Papa Johns Pizza did went above and beyond. They brought us pizza,” he said. “There’s not many things you bring to the fire hall that aren’t enjoyed.”

The chief said the firefighters appreciated Turner and his staff bringing the food. “I wish the weather had been better. If it had been better we would have had a better turn out,” he said. “It was one of those days the weather, it got little cool and wind was blowing. I promise you, they didn’t have to take any pizza back.”

Maryville police Chief Tony Crisp said his officers appreciated what Papa John’s did. “We’re honored they took time out of their schedule and fine to do such a thing,” he said.

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