Local pizzeria has donated over $100,000 in community giving
Village Idiot Pizza is celebrating 30 years of serving NY-style pizza in the Midlands. Recently, the local, small business owned by Kelly and Brian Glynn also reached another milestone: It has surpassed $100,000 in community giving to hundreds of nonprofits. From “percent nights” to donations and more, Village Idiot has been committed to giving back to customers, the local community and nonprofits.
“We have an innate responsibility to be givers in all facets of life,” says Kelly Glynn. “As local business owners, it’s important to us to be connected to the community and give back to the many organizations bettering our region.”
Reflecting on the restaurant’s 30 years in business, philanthropy has played a major role, beginning after the sudden passing of Village Idiot regular and University of South Carolina student Blayne Brown in 2006. Brown’s fraternity established a scholarship fund in his honor and held many fundraising events, including a “percent night” (a night where a certain amount of profits from the business are donated to a non-profit) at Village Idiot. That night,100% of the proceeds at Village Idiot went toward the cause.
Since then, percent nights have increased exponentially and have become a weekly occurrence for various philanthropic student organizations such as UofSC Dance Marathon, The Therapy Place and Epworth Children’s Homes. Local university students, local schools and nonprofit organizations looking to raise funds are welcome to host a percent night at any Village Idiot location throughout the year where money will go to the charity of their choosing. Since March, percent nights have been delayed to coincide with community gathering guidelines and will resume in 2021 with a philanthropic spot available at least once per week at each location.
“It became clear that we could help make a significant impact,” Kelly Glynn says on hosting percent nights. “There are a number of worthy causes, and this is a simple way we can help. We try to help as many organizations as we can.”
One night the owners will never forget was in 2010, as they raised money for Haiti after a magnitude seven earthquake had destroyed much of the country. It was a busy night, and with 100% of proceeds going to the cause, a total of $5,000 was donated thanks to the support of the community.
“Those are moments that keep you going,” Kelly Glynn says. “It’s not always easy to be small business owners, but it’s humbling when our neighborhood pizzeria can make a difference in something that is far greater than what’s within our walls.”
Pizza donations for front-line workers during pandemic
In April of 2020, Village Idiot launched a new kind of Pizzagram — one that feeds and brings a smile to front line workers in response to COVID-19 — and is still going strong today. Customers contribute a $10 donation, which covers the cost of two pizzas. Then Village Idiot makes the pizzas, collecting no profits, and delivers them to those on the front lines dealing with impacts of the pandemic.
“We are so thankful to know someone is thinking of us and supporting us through these times. We are grateful to get a delivery of the ultimate comfort food from Village Idiot," says Lee Ann Kornegay, facilitator of deliveries to MIRCI, Providence Hospital, Senior Resources and others.
Recipients include local hospitals like Lexington Medical Center, Providence and Prisma Health, along with senior living facilities like Senior Resources and Tucker Nursing Home. Additional donations have been made to the MIRCI mental illness recovery center, USC Orthopedic Center, Palmetto Pediatrics, City of Columbia Police Department, Richland County Sheriff Department and Columbia Fire Department. So far, 850 pizzas have been sent, feeding over 3,000 front line workers.
If you would like to contribute to the Pizzagram fund, you can do so through the end of October at https://villageidiotpizza.com/make-a-donation/.
Pizza for Preemies returns in November
In 2017, Kelly and Brian Glynn’s twins were born prematurely at just 28 weeks. Today, the Glynns and their now 3-year-old twins, still celebrate November as the month they were able to take their babies home; November happens to also be Prematurity Awareness Month. After going through the grueling experience associated with prematurity, the Glynn’s took action to give back.
Since 2018, Village Idiot has hosted “Pizza for Preemies” — a monthlong campaign in November to raise funds for March of Dimes. This November, customers can donate by adding a donation to their meal at the bottom of every ticket or online at https://villageidiotpizza.com/make-a-donation/.
About Village Idiot Pizza
Village Idiot Pizza is an independently owned restaurant and pub in Columbia, S.C., with three locations and a rich history of serving up hand-tossed New York-style pizza, wings, beer and other Italian-American delights to college students, sports enthusiasts, pizza lovers, locals and visitors and more for three decades. A fixture in the Five Points district, the original pizza establishment, “the Idiot,” is one of the longest-standing businesses in the area and has had a measurable impact on the Five Points district since 1990. With the additions of locations in Forest Acres and Olympia over the last 10 years, the restaurant, which offers dine-in, pick-up or delivery service with online ordering, has broadened its reach to provide the high-quality, handcrafted menu items for which it is known and respected. Owners Kelly and Brian Glynn actively engage with community events and volunteer their efforts to help build Columbia’s nonprofit culture and restaurant scene. Learn more and order online at http://www.villageidiotpizza.com.
SCBIZtv is part of the SC Biz News family, serving 100,000 high-level business execs throughout South Carolina. Click for more from SCBIZtv.