CLYDE – Life doesn’t get much better than pizza and pups. That was an easy connection to make when Big D’s Pizza recently began posting photos of the available dogs at the Sandusky County Dog Kennel on its pizza boxes.
“We just started doing this,” said Big D’s owner, Dean Henry. “A guy I know out of Brooklyn, New York, was doing it, and I thought we ought to do it here. I called Kelly (Askins, dog warden), and she said it sounded fantastic.”
Askins prints fliers featuring photos of available dogs along with a list of kennel needs such as paper towels and bleach, and Big D’s staff glues the fliers to pizza boxes.
“Every time I get a new one, I post it on Facebook, too. I got an overwhelming response to that,” Henry said.
Askins had also heard about the Brooklyn dog promotion and was grateful Henry offered to help.
“When Dean contacted me and was so interested in doing this, I was thrilled. It’s so simple, and it’s a very inexpensive way of promoting our dogs to the community. Some paper, some ink, and all of our available dogs are put out into the community,” Askins said.
Henry also donated free pizza certificates for people who adopt dogs.
“I think he’s pretty incredible and very generous to offer anything he can do to help get our dogs into forever homes,” Askins said. “I really look forward to working with him in the future. We are so very appreciative of everything he is doing.”
Promoting the Sandusky County Dog Kennel is just one way Henry supports the community. A number of organizations in Clyde and throughout the county have benefited from Henry’s generosity since he opened the former Big D’s in Fremont about 13 years ago. Today, Big D’s is located in Clyde.
On March 21, Big D’s will host a Clyde Fliers Fundraiser that will generate funds for Clyde Flier Baseball. Dinners cost $9 and choices are a loaded porktater — a baked potato loaded with cheese, bacon, butter and sour cream — with one side, or a pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and macaroni and cheese.
“Pepsi Cola is going to bring a trailer and set it up front and do a barbecue,” Henry said. “The kids are going to come down to help.”
Henry said Miller’s Super Valu in Clyde is donating the sandwich buns, and Lee’s Special Recipe in Fremont is donating the coleslaw. Baseball coach Shane Cook said money raised at the fundraiser will help purchase new equipment and uniforms for the baseball players as well as help build a fund which will be used to build new dugouts at the high school diamond.
“The dugouts are pretty old, and we’re trying to build our fund back up so the kids don’t have to pay so much for uniforms,” Cook said. “It’s awesome what Dean’s doing. He does a lot for the community. He’s always supporting things, whether in Clyde or in other towns.”
In the past few years, Henry has helped raise thousands of dollars for local causes. During Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, Big D’s donated 10 percent of one day’s sales to the American Cancer Society, and Henry hosted a chicken dinner to help Clyde Boosters develop a fitness gym at the high school. In December, he prepared a spaghetti dinner for the Clyde football team the night before they won the Ohio High School Athletic Association state football championship.
Other recipients of Henry’s generosity include the Ballville Fire Department Firehouse Challenge, Clyde Biddy Wrestling, and the Ross High School football team. Henry sponsors Fremont Speedway race car drivers and provides pizza prizes for the Hammer Down Racing Report podcast.
For Henry, his generosity isn’t about giving; it’s about giving back.
“I try to help out when I can. We’ve been donating a lot to the City of Clyde because they help us. They keep us in business,” Henry said. “I like to help the people who helped me make it.”
Big D’s Pizza is at 808 N. Main St. It can be reached by calling 419-547-1444.
Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]
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