Israel “Big IZ” Jimenez, an employee of the Transportation Security Administration, ate 12 slices of pizza in six minutes to win first place in the pizza-eating contest put on by the Food & Shops at LaGuardia and Famous Famiglia on Nov. 19.
Eddie “Bang Bang” Hernandez of Southwest Airlines and David “The Pizza Tank” Frank of the TSA tied for second place, both eating 11 slices. InMotion Entertainment’s Christopher “Smooth Sabz” Sabatino came in third, with 10 slices.
“My family and I are grateful to have had the opportunity to work with MarketPlace Development in introducing a fun and new way of creating awareness and raising funds for City Harvest,” says John Kolaj, co-founder and COO of Famous Famiglia. “We look forward to creating a sense of fun and community among the airport family next year while supporting a worthy cause.”
Kolaj surprised everyone when he said he would double the cash prizes for all winning, making the first-place purse $2,000, second place $1,000 and third place $500. In addition, he doubled the original $1,000 donation to City Harvest, the world’s first and New York City’s only food rescue organization dedicated to feeding the city’s hungry men, women, and children..
“The Pizza Eating Contest was a great success and created a spirit of fun and sense of community at the airport.” says Lillian Tan, vice president and general manager of MarketPlace Development. “We were impressed and inspired by the large crowd of LaGuardia employees who attended to cheer and applaud for their fellow employees. We are also very grateful to the Kolaj family and Famous Famiglia for their heartfelt generosity to help feed people in need.”