For the past two decades, local chiropractor Dave Dubyak has sought to give the hundreds of local residents who receive lunches from the United Samaritans Daily Bread food truck a sweet end to their Thanksgiving Day meals through a pumpkin pie contest. As the contest enters its 24th year, Dubyak is hoping to entice a new generation of bakers to take up the philanthropic baking challenge.
“The whole point of the holidays is to get out of thinking about yourself and think about other people,” said Dubyak. “To me, this an opportunity to help people in general.”
Helping out is as easy as pie.
Anyone can enter the contest — all ages and skill levels — and there are no requirements for entries, other than pumpkin has to be the main ingredient and contestants must submit two pies. Bakers don’t have to pre-register, they can just drop off their entries between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Dubyak’s Turlock office, located at 3008 Geer Rd.
The closed judging will start at 6:30 p.m. The baker of the best pie, as chosen by the judges, will receive $100. Second place prize is $50. Winners will be called that night.
Last year’s winner was Terry Foote and her pumpkin pecan perfection. While Foote may have taken the top prize with her old family recipe that features nuts, Dubyak said a majority of the winning pies over the years have been from the recipe off the Libby’s can of pumpkin. And it’s not always the best bakers in the family who come up with the pies that impress the judges most.
“We’ve had four different years where kids won the contest… so this just isn’t for accomplished bakers,” he said.
In years past, the contest has received up to 214 entries but more recently the number of people participating has dwindled — a trend that Dubyak is trying to reverse. He is excited that this year students in the Turlock Unified School District culinary arts programs will be submitting pies for the competition.
Those looking to help feed the needy, but don’t know which end of the whisk is up can still participate. The chiropractor will also be accepting store-bought pies to donate to the United Samaritans and other Thanksgiving food items for the lunch program such as cut green beans, dinner rolls, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
For more information about the contest, call 668-1944.