Pizza, wings, beer and Browns on menu for Slice of the Valley

This year’s Slice of the Valley will be serving up wings and a couple of former Cleveland Browns along with the pizza.

The Warren Rotary fundraiser, which returns to the Eastwood Event Centre in Niles from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, is adding chicken wings for purchase for the first time.

“I kept thinking, what could I do to make it fresh?” organizer Rob Berk said. “After we’d been doing Slice of the Valley for a few years, what goes good with pizza? Beer! So we brought in the beer. This year it hit me like a bolt of lightning — what else goes good with pizza? Wings!”

Berk said he talked to Michael Engram of Game Changers, which used to do a King of the Wings fundraiser at Eastwood Mall, and got his blessing to add a wings component to Slice of the Valley.

Participating wing vendors for the inaugural year will be: Buffalo Wild Wings, Firebirds, Maddens, Outback Steakhouse, Primanti Brothers, The Rig and Underground Lounge.

The event also will include more area breweries than ever before with 1547, Biker Brewhouse, Birdfish Brewing, L’uva Bella / Brew Kettle, Modern Methods, Noble Creature, Ohio Brewing and Paladin Brewing selling some of their creations.

Pizza remains that star attraction, though. This year’s scheduled vendors are Amen Corner, Cocca’s, Gionino’s, Jimmy Neno’s, Marco’s, Margherita’s Grille, Pizza Joe’s, Pymatuning Pizza, St. A’s Bistro and St. Anthony’s Brier Hill Pizza.

Attendees can vote for their favorites and a panel of judges will pick winners in multiple categories.

This year’s judges will include two former Cleveland Browns, running back Peyton Hillis and quarterback Kelly Holcomb. Hillis played for the Browns in 2010-11 and also played for four other teams in his seven seasons. Holcomb played for the Browns from 2001 to 2004 in a 13-year NFL career.

“I’ve always been a Kelly Holcomb fan and have been after him for years to be a judge,” Berk said.

Holcomb consented this year after Berk had a chance to have dinner with a quarterback a couple of years ago. He connected with Hillis at breakfast at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“It’s quite an impressive lineup for any fan to see these stars who played for the Browns in the past,” Berk said.

They will join a group of celebrity judges that includes Cleveland Cavaliers announcer Sean Peebles, former professional wrestler Preston Steele, singer Doug Thomas and local media personalities.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Boy Scouts of America — Great Trail Council, Riverside Park, Special Olympics Ohio and the Trumbull County Historical Society.

If you go …

WHAT: Warren Rotary Slice of the Valley pizza challenge.

WHEN: 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Eastwood Event Centre, 5555 Youngstown Warren Road, Niles.

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $15 for adults (including three slices of pizza) and $5 for children ages 6 and younger (two slices of pizza). Tickets are available in advance online at warrenrotary.com/tickets.


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