Archive for Wednesday, February 13, 2019

For LOVE of pizza

Sawyer Vestal, 8, stands with his Valentine's Day card box. Sawyer is a third-grader at Tonganoxie Elementary School.

Sawyer Vestal, 8, stands with his Valentine's Day card box. Sawyer is a third-grader at Tonganoxie Elementary School.

February 13, 2019

Sawyer Vestal’s favorite menu item at Gambino’s is pepperoni pizza.

His love of said food was on display this week at his Valentine party in Stephanie Lang’s third-grade class at Tonganoxie Elementary School.

As the tradition of Valentine’s Day goes, elementary school children exchange V-Day cards.

But gone are the days of decorating your brown paper sack for classmates to drop in their cards to you.

It’s now a more elaborate process in which students create Valentine’s Day card boxes.

For Sawyer, who is 8, that means a box crafted from portions of a pizza box to become roughly a 12-inch by 12-inch Valentine’s Day card box, complete with various Gambino’s stickers and swag.

He said using a full Gambino’s pizza box for his card box wasn’t going to work.

“So we decided I would cut parts of it off,” he said.

The top of the box even has a “table top,” as they are called at the Tonganoxie Gambino’s, according to Jamie Boden, who owns and operates the local business with her husband, Ryan. They’re also known as “pizza savers,” as Carmela Vitale patented the plastic product — just in time for Valentine’s Day — on Feb. 10, 1983, in Dix Hills, N.Y. The pizza saver’s purpose: to keep the cheese from sticking to the lid of the box or getting smashed on its journey from the pizza shop to home.

Since then, the accessory has been used in other forms, as Boden noted some Gambino’s employees remembering repurposing them as tables for their Barbie dolls.

And now the accessory serves as an accent piece for a Valentine’s Day card box.

Sawyer’s previous card box came from his Aunt Brianna in Topeka, a box he had used since kindergarten. The “mouth” on that card box could open and close, Sawyer said.

Sawyer’s mother, Meagan, said the project took about two hours to complete.

“He’s excited,” Meagan said.

If you want to win over Sawyer’s heart, there’s the pizza, and then he has a favorite candy on Valentine’s Day.

“Fun Dip,” Sawyer said.

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