Out Of The Biggest Challenges Comes The Most Amazing Greatness

Pizza… chocolate… buckets… and greatness.

Three nouns and an adjective. English class during the coronavirus pandemic? Nah. Just had to tell you what I’ve seen in the last week or so, and it’s wonderful… awe inspiring… selfless behavior.

Let’s take the three nouns and the adjective in order.


My jaw dropped last Wednesday as I joyfully watched a procession of cars line up in order outside of the Monte Cello’s Restaurant in Ross Township, north of Pittsburgh.

Monte Cello’s restaurants distributed 1,000 free pizzas in just a few hours.

Over two hours, smiling, courteous, hard working employees at that restaurant and four others gave out 1,000 pizzas for free! All you had to to was call the restaurants and say “Marty and Sparkt sent me!” to get one. Buncha folks said “Who’s Marty?” They still got free pizza anyway.

Monte Cello’s staff worked non-stop to make and deliver the pizzas car by car.

Joe Wadlow, the founder of the five restaurant franchise did it because, as he said, “we must take care of each other Marty.” Sure we do.


A big truck pulled up to the loading dock at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals Sunday. Call it an oversized Easter Bunny. Sarris Candy, based in Canonsburg, south of Pittsburgh, unloaded six thousand, eight-ounce and one-pound chocolate Easter eggs. Six thousand!

Doctors, nurses and patients at UPMC hospitals will share in the Easter bounty from Sarris Candy.

Sarris donated all of them to what owner Billy Sarris describes as “The heroes. The doctors. The nurses. The health care workers on the front lines.” Sarris also donated 2000 chocolate eggs to UPMC Children’s Hospital, and 500 eggs to Canonsburg Hospital. The value of the chocolate in dollars, about $150,000. The value to workers and patients who might not have much of an Easter this year? Priceless!

Even better: Billy Sarris’ employees got paid for making the chocolate he gave away. Amazing! Billy said “Look Marty. People gotta have Easter!” We sure do.


At the Boys & Girls Club in Carnegie, just southwest of Pittsburgh, volunteers and employees are filling large blue buckets. They’re Lowe’s buckets. The big box store with the big heart donated hundreds of them for the nearly seven hundred families the Boys & Girls Club serves. The buckets are filled with cleaning supplies and other necessities.

Lowe’s donated enough cleaning products for 700 families served by the Boys & Girls Club.

Many Boys & Girls Club families struggle. Lowe’s gets it. Boys & Girls Club of Pittsburgh CEO Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri says “We all have to help each other. We are so grateful.” Oh and by the way… Sarris donated another 700 chocolate Easter eggs for the Boys & Girls Club families.

As Billy Sarris said “Kids gotta have the Easter Bunny.” They certainly do.

The Lowe’s buckets will be topped off with a Sarris chocolate egg.

In the breaking news world of Covid-19 infection rates and moribund death tolls… we’ve re-defined the meaning of “community spread.”

In the pandemic vernacular it’s ominous.

But I’ve seen a different “community spread.” People making a difference… spreading a word of hope in a troubled time. Here at Sparkt we like that a lot. Don’t you?

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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