Park City gets pizza "dough"
March 29, 2006
It was a donation that any Park City kid would love a mix of pizza, education and sports.
This winter, Papa John’s pizza chain founder and CEO John Schnatter, a resident of Louisville, Ky. who owns a condo in Deer Valley, made an important decision.
If he and his family were going to enjoy skiing the slopes of Park City every year, then they really ought to give back to the community.
"If we are out here, we want to be part of the community," Schnatter said. "You can’t be in the business of family and fun and not be a part of the community."
Schnatter began coming to Park City for ski trips with his sons a few years ago, and decided to buy a condo at the St. Regis during his second year.
After that purchase was made, he made a comment to ski buddy, Park City Ski Team parent and local philanthropist Mark J. Fischer that he wanted to donate money to the educational system in Park City.
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Fischer made the suggestion that the money should go to both education and athletics, since both are so important to the youth of Park City.
Schnatter was honored at a luncheon at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley over the weekend, where local members of the Park City Ski Education Foundation and the Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) and the Youth Winter Sports Alliance gathered to meet and thank the person behind the much-appreciated "dough."
Part of Schnatter’s $100,000 donation will go to renovate the locker rooms of the Park City Ski Team.
The symbolic check was presented to th Youth Winter Sports Alliance, but will be restricted for use to the Park City Ski Team Capital Campaign.
The other half will be allocated by the PCEF in areas where the funds are most needed.
Schnatter said he is very impressed by the Park City School District’s commitment to education, a far cry from the situation in Kentucky.
"In Kentucky, we don’t have the communities oriented to the schools we have to go back to basics," Schnatter said.
"Here you know that the community will take care of it."
Mark K. Fischer, a board member from the PCEF, was thrilled by Schnatter’s generous donation.
He says the foundation will work with the district to determine where the money will be best used.
Since joining the PCEF five years ago, Fischer has helped bring needed programs into the local schools, such as math and science specialists and all-day kindergarten, garner more parent support, introduce the International Baccalaureate program and hire a high school scholarship specialist who has helped to raise $6 million in scholarship monies.
He hopes to see the new funds continue to support the endeavors of the PCEF.