Pizza King helps raise money for NHS Cancer Care Center

em>By Lynn R. Parks

On Monday, visitors to the Pizza King restaurant in Seaford got some extra attention. Steve Rose, CEO and president of Nanticoke Health Services in Seaford, was there to welcome them and to, at least in one case, encourage them to indulge in an extra piece of pie.

"Go ahead – it won't hurt you," he told customers Beverly Orndorff of Hagerstown, Md., and Sturgis Lowe of Seaford.

Rose was at the restaurant in recognition of its month-long fundraiser to benefit Nanticoke's Cancer Care Center. Ten percent of the Monday proceeds from all Pizza King restaurants throughout October will go to the center, to help pay for an upcoming renovation project. In addition to the Seaford location, PK has eateries in Harrington, Bridgeville, Laurel and Millsboro.

Among the customers at the Seaford PK Monday night was Kathy Burt, director of the Cancer Care Center. She said that the renovation project will allow the center to increase the numbers of patient recliner chairs that it has, from six to eight. Because of the shortage of chairs, in which patients sit to receive infusions of cancer-fighting drugs, employees sometimes have difficulty scheduling patients, she said.

The center also wants to upgrade its infusion center to make it a more pleasant place to be, for patients as well as for caregivers who are waiting for them. The renovation project is set to get underway next month and to be completed in January, Burt said.

The center currently sees about 50 patients a day, about 10 of whom are receiving infusions, Burt said.

Nanticoke spokeswoman Renee Morris said that proceeds from the PK fundraiser will also go to help patients who need transportation to medical appointments. "All of the money that is raised here will benefit the patients," she said.

Morris had high praise for members of the Baynum family, who own Pizza King, and for manager Amanda Lloyd. "Having this fundraiser was their idea," she said. "They spearheaded it. And it's a great idea – a locally owned company working to support a community hospital."

Customer David Semat of Seaford said that he had gone to the restaurant Monday evening especially to support the Cancer Care Center. He was a patient there a couple of years ago, he said over a large plate of spaghetti, and "got great care."

Friends Elizabeth Easterday and Sandi Townsend, both from Seaford, were also there to support the center. Townsend said that she is impressed with CEO Rose and his efforts to help Nanticoke regain its financial footing. "It's important to have a good community hospital," she said.

As for Lowe and Orndorff, mother and daughter, they hadn't known about the fundraiser. But they were happy to be there to support the Cancer Care Center.

There wasn't going to be any second piece of pie, though. "I don't think that I'll be doing that," Lowe said.

News tips wanted
Call us with ideas for news and features. We're always looking for good stories to share with readers. Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.