Ask locals in the area, and you'll hear that the Caesar Rodney and Capital school district have one of the fiercest rivalries in the state. United Way of Delaware is giving athletes and students the opportunity to use the schools' rivalry to give back.
Grotto Pizza in Dover will be the battle ground for a pizza eating contest between a team of CR students and a team of Capital students on Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. Each team will include one band member, one cheerleader, on male athlete and one female athlete. The pizza eating contest will be in relay style, in which each team member will eat one slice of pizza. Whichever team finishes first wins. Capital School District Director of Athletics Jeff Savage isn't looking at this as just another competition.
"This is a great opportunity to coach up our young people on the importance of giving and the importance of selflessness and doing for others," Savage said. "I think we can use this event to make that point and model that behavior."
The event is a collaboration between the United Way, Energizer, Grotto Pizza, Capital and Caesar Rodney, said Deborah Armstrong, assistant director community relations at United Way Delaware.
"Energizer was looking for a way to include the community in the United Way campaign," Armstong said. "Both Caesar Rodney and Capital school districts have been very supportive of United Way throughout the years, and we thought this would be a great community event."
On the night of the event, each organization has its role to play. Capital and Caesar Rodney will bring in the marching bands, mascots and fans, Energizer will be sponsoring the event and providing judges, and United Way will be working with Grotto Pizza, which has chosen to donate 20 percent of the night's proceeds (from 6 to 8 p.m.) to local charities the schools have selected.
Capital has chosen to give their proceeds to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and the Epilepsy Foundation of Delaware. Caesar Rodney has chosen for their funds to benefit breast cancer awareness, but they have not yet chosen a specific organization.
Nov. 5 will also serve as a way to tie in several other events that are going on in the school districts. Next week, United Way food drives will begin in both schools. On Nov. 1 the community can come out to First Friday in Dover and donate food to the drive. While there, they can also vote for which student-created promotional poster is the best. Food donations will also be accepted the night of Nov. 5 at Grotto Pizza. The winner of the poster contest will be decided and announced at Grotto.
The event also serves as a way to promote the Caesar Rodney vs. Capital football game scheduled for Nov. 8 at Caesar Rodney High School.
Page 2 of 2 - The fundraiser will just be one more arena for Caesar Rodney and Capital to go head to head, but Caesar Rodney Dean of Students Freeman Williams is happy that it's for a good cause.
"I think the rivalry is the strongest in the state but this is allowing us an opportunity to do a lot of positive with it," Williams said. "Whenever you see CR versus, Dover it's another chance for us to compete, but knowing that there will be a lot of positive for community makes us feel good."
In the end, it's an opportunity to teach students that community trumps rivalry, according to Savage.
"We teach our kids that we want to compete, we want to battle and we want to play hard, but at the end of the day we shake hands, respect each other and move away as friends," he said. "At the end of this, we're all in the same community together."