In today’s tough times, it is hard to remember to give back to others; yet, there are those among us that have always and will continue to always keep a helping hand free for those in need no matter how trying the times. DUO Magazine had the privilege of talking to three such persons who had gathered at one event all in the name of philanthropy… and good pizza.
The owner of Coal Mine Pizza in Boca Raton, Gary Rack, held a World Championship Pizza Weekend, bringing in Food Network star and World Pizza Champ Tony “G” Gemignani, Grammy Awardwinner Scott Stapp and his wife, Jaclyn, reigning Mrs. Florida, and other members of the community to have a great family fun weekend filled with music, pizza tossing and community spirit. The event raised close to $18,000 for The Andy Roddick Foundation, The Sun-Sentinel Children’s Fund and The Scott Stapp With Arms Wide Open Foundation. But it’s not only for this event; the members who put this together give back in their every day lives.
From Hospice (www.hospicenet.org) to Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.org), from soup kitchens to S.O.S. Children’s Village(www.sos-childrensvillages.org), Gary Rack and his wife, Videl, make it a practice to give back to the community at large. “If you are privileged, you have to give back. There is only so much money you can spend. It’s the right thing to do. It feels good when you give,” says Mrs. Videl Rack. Many know this couple and their philanthropic twin sons from their restaurant, the popular Coal Mine Pizza in Boca Raton. They seem to imbue a sense of charity and good will in everything they do. They opened an Italian bistro and market in North Miami (Aventura area) called Racks in February, located within the Intracoastal Mall at 163rd Avenue and N.E. 36th Avenue, a unique concept bringing in a fresh clientele. For more information, call 305-917-7225 or visit www.racksmiami.com.
THE PIZZA CHAMP
Tony G., nine-time world pizza-tossing champion, who is known best for his pizza acrobatics, was so impressed with the quality pizza produced at Coal Mine Pizza and their philosophy that he dropped everything and came out to be a part of the event. After visiting the facility and enjoying this event, he decided to invite Coal Mine Pizza to be part of his highly prestigious World Champion Pizza team.During the event, he showed kids the wild tossing tricks that have made him a world-wide star and threw them some dough so they could do it, too. Mayor Susan Whelchel gave him a key to the city.Philanthropy is close to Tony’s heart, especially when it comes to children. He also loves giving back to many charities, including Cancer and Meals on Wheels, and now he has created a children’s book, released by Chronicle Books, called “Tony and the Pizza Champions.” To learn about the World Champions Team, visit www.worldpizzachampions.com.
THE ROCKSTAR & THE BEAUTY QUEEN
Scott Stapp, founder of Creed, who recently completed an Armed Forces Entertainment tour in Europe and the Middle East, joined his wife Jaclyn, reigning Mrs. Florida, at-this event. While Stapp prepared for his tour after the event, his wife chatted with DUO about why she feels community service is so important.“Volunteering and philanthropy has been my life-long platform. I was honored to once receive Whitehouse recognition for the many volunteer hours I had completed, working with disabled children, at risk youth, literacy programs and teaching English to newcomers seeking U.S. citizenship,” she says, adding, “I learned very early in life, that it’s nice to be important, but it’s even more important to be nice.”Jaclyn has most recently become spokesperson for the recently opened Salon Edge in Boca Raton. For more information on Scott, visit www.scottstapp.com. For information on Jaclyn, visit www.jaclyn-s.com.
Philanthropists at its Finest:
The Entrepenuer, The Pizza Champ, The Rock Star and The Beuty Queen
Written By Rachel Galvin