Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pies Against Cancer Party FAQ, 2011 edition

When is the party?
Sunday April 17, from 2pm to 5pm.

Where is the party?
400 East 85th Street, Apartment 9D. This is on the southeast corner of 85th Street and First Avenue.

This is a fundraiser?
Yes, I am raising money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which provides support for people affected by cancer.

How do I donate?
Simply click on this link, which takes you to my fundraising page. Your donation goes directly to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which will send you a receipt right away, avoiding any awkward exchange of money with me, waiting for checks, etc. They're a 501(c)(3), so your donation is fully tax-deductible. And while, in many other respects, cash is king, it makes getting you the tax deduction much more complicated. Checks? Yep, they’re fine, too.

Did you say my donation is fully tax-deductible?
Yes, because you receive nothing of material value in exchange. Apparently, the IRS doesn't consider my pies to me of any material value (shakes head in disbelief).

So how much should I give?
As much as you feel comfortable giving.

That's really vague, Christopher.
I am suggesting that you each give $10. I'm suggesting this the way the Metropolitan Museum of Art suggests that you give $20 for admission. Not strictly speaking a barrier to entry, but a nice gesture.

For your pies (and to fight cancer) I would gladly give more! Should I donate more than $10?
You are too kind! In that case, I would suggest that you sponsor a pie.

How much does it cost to sponsor a pie?
After consulting with my inner math geek, I decided on $31.42. Which is approximately ten times pi. Geddit?

What do I get for sponsoring a pie?
Pay attention, as this is different from last year, when I put your name on the pie and you got to take home the leftovers. At my Mom’s suggestion, this year I’m offering you the option of having me bake you a pie all for yourself, at a time and place we can arrange before or after the party. I'll still put your name in bold on the program (note to self: make programs for this party). Of course, you can still just sponsor a pie at the party and take home leftovers. Either way, you get to eat pie. And you may thank my Mom in person.

Can I pick which pie to sponsor?
Sure! Why not? And because of the option of getting your pie later, more than one person can sponsor the same kind of pie. No fighting as to who gets to sponsor my pecan pie. Because there was some disappointment last year.

So, tell me more about this Livestrong Challenge I noticed on the donation page.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation has a series of events in four cities, including a run/walk and a bike ride (that cycling connection). Last year I went to the one outside Philadelphia, and I was most impressed with the organization. This year, Team Fatty is concentrating its efforts on the event in Davis, CA.

And it says you're part of Team Fatty? What is that? I thought you were just big-boned.
Team Fatty is a project of, which is a blog started by Elden Nelson. Elden, an cycling enthusiast, decided he needed to shed some pounds and started a blog to use the power of public humiliation as a motivating tool. It turns out that he is a very entertaining writer, and the blog took off. Later, Elden's wife was diagnosed with cancer, and the blog morphed into the story of how he and his family coped with fighting the disease. The blog has won numerous awards and has raised millions to fight cancer.

Just because I'm a little bit cynical, I have to ask: is my donation going towards sending you to California to ride your bike?
No. I’m not actually riding the event this year, so I don’t have any fundraising minimum to hit. By pooling my fundraising with the other good folks on Team Fatty, I get to leverage all of our fundraising efforts towards helping the team win the team fundraising prize, but that’s mostly about bragging rights.

Can I bring my offspring?
Well-monitored children are welcome, as they, too, should be introduced to the wonders of pie. Pets, well, not so much. Just let me know how many people I can expect, so that there will be enough pie for everyone.

Finally, are you sure that pies would be against cancer, if only they had the power of speech?
I most certainly am.

Spicy Mango Pie, sponsored by Jesse Lansner

Cranberry Orange Walnut Pie, sponsored by Neil Tolciss and Karen Brinkman

Blueberry Pie, sponsored by Laz Benitez

Pecan Pie, sponsored by Steve and Monica Susel

Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, sponsored by Linda March

It involves chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and bourbon.

Also, a little poignant, as Linda sponsored this pie in honor of her sister, who was battling cancer at the time. Linda's sister lost this battle a few months ago.

Treacle Tart, sponsored by Dan Boyle

Most people know of treacle tart as Harry Potter's favorite dessert. Unlike, say butter beer, treacle tart is a real thing, and one I enjoyed a great deal at Oxford, where is was one of my college chef's go-to desserts.

Pumpkin Pie, sponsored by Eva Pendleton and Patrick Barnhart

They wanted a pumpkin pie because they had baked one for themselves at Thanksgiving, but their dog Mercury, a charismatic Weimeraner, had gotten to the pie before they could. Hence the bone made from pastry as decoration.

Apple Pecan Pie, sponsored by Sue Valcic

This was her idea - I had never heard of apple and pecan in the same pie. She liked the results, though.

Blackberry Pie, sponsored by my brother Alexander

Apple Pie, sponsored by Susan Manca

Buttermilk Pie, sponsored by Shea Fink

The pies, and their baker