As a reward for gathering more than 2,000 cans of corn for families in need this holiday, Smith Elementary School students and a former Ohio State quarterback hand delivered several pies to Principal Jacob LeGros’ face.
One student from each grade level along with Justin Zwick, who led the Buckeyes to an Alamo Bowl victory in 2004, pied LeGros Monday afternoon on the playground in front of dozens of cheering students. LeGros said getting a pie in the face was the schools’ reward for donating 2,400 cans of corn for families in need this Thanksgiving.
The food will be given out today during the annual Fight Against Hunger Games event located at the former Delaware Area Career Center North Campus on state Route 521.
“It’s so great to see everybody get motivated to see a principal get pied in the face ,and it’s awesome that we’re able to do this for the community,” LeGros said, after wiping pumpkin pie and whipped cream off his face. “The kids are motivated and excited.”
LeGros said a similar event was held last year while the school was on a hybrid schedule and the student body was divided. He said he was glad to be able to have all the students together for the day for the event, adding he learned a lesson from last year’s pies.
“Last year, I forgot to wear goggles and you’re not supposed to get whipped cream or pumpkin pie in your eyes,” LeGros said. “My sense of smell has been gone and is currently filled with nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s just awesome to see kids stopping you in the hall saying, “I can’t wait to pie you in the face,” and they’re telling their families to bring in all the cans that they can.”
LeGros said the school will continue to contribute to the Fight Against Hunger Games event next year.
“It’s great that they’re still excited about it, and we’re going to keep doing it as long as they’re motivated,” LeGros said.
Zwick, who started 10 games for the Buckeyes at quarterback during his collegiate career, was a special guest for the event, and a reward for the students donating more than 2,000 cans. Zwick said he was “honored” to participate in the event.
“Any time you can do little events like this, it’s great to do,” Zwick said. “When I was playing with Coach (Jim) Tressel, he used the “Pay it Forward” mantra from Woody Hayes, back in the day, and that’s what we always did. Any kind of charity event you can be at or give your time to or little things like this.”
Zwick said despite all his experience on the field, he had never thrown a pie at a principal’s face.
“This is a first time for me,” he said. “(I’ve learned) you’ve got to smear it a little bit … It was cool for the principal to put himself up like this and take these pies to the face. It’s fun to be around little kids and their spirit, and how they enjoy every little aspect of life.”
Zwick, who said he was impressed by the kids and all the cans they collected, enjoyed his time interacting with the students at Smith.
“Once I heard what they were doing, there was no choice. I had to be here,” he said. “I’m honored to take part in it. It was great hearing the kids cheering and getting excited. It was fun seeing the kids and meeting new people.”
Karen Wadkins, one of the organizers of the Fight Against Hunger Games, said the students at Smith went above and beyond to help make a difference for those in need this Thanksgiving.
“Because of generosity of little ones and the community, we didn’t have to pay for corn and green beans, so we we’re able to go out and buy more fresh items like eggs and a block of cheese,” Wadkins said. “(We’re able to) make the bags and the event bigger each year because of the generosity of the community that we live in (and) recognizing that there are people in the community who need help.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.