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Dubyak Family Chiropractic crowns pie contest winner
pumpkin pie 3
Pumpkin pie contest judges Raul Mendez, Charlene West and Larry Wells hold up their scores for the appearance of a pie. - photo by ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal

Jeanna Pritt’s granddaughter, Madison Slifert, doesn’t bake often, but that didn’t stop her from entering the Dubyak Family Chiropractic annual pumpkin pie contest and taking home the crown.

“I supervised her, but she did all the baking,” said Pritt. “I didn’t think we were going to win.”

It was the first time that Pritt and Slifert have entered a pie into the 22-year-old contest, but their delicious pie impressed the event’s five judges and earned them the first place prize of $100. Raul Mendez, Charlene West, Larry Wells, Kevin Kollmeyer and Natalie Sanchez judged the submitted pies – eight in total – on the taste and texture of their crust and filling, as well as their appearance.

“It’s just such a fun contest,” said contest facilitator Dave Dubyak. “The judges were really good and really friendly.”

Dubyak began the pumpkin pie contest over two decades ago in order to give back to the community. In collaboration with United Samaritans Foundation, pies entered into the contest are donated to the organization’s annual Thanksgiving meal given to those in need through the USF Daily Bread mobile food truck. To enter the pumpkin pie contest, competitors donated one pie for judging and one pie for donation, for a total of 16 pies contributed. In addition, the Ceres High School Home Economics department donated 80 pies.

“It’s so special to us, because we know the community and Dr. Dubyak care for us and understand the need for something special for those in need,” said USF Executive Director Beverly Hatcher. “The pies are a nice treat for them.”

To create the winning pie, 13-year-old Slifert used the recipe on the back of a Libby’s pumpkin can. She added some extra spice, said Pritt, which she thinks may have set the pie apart from the others. Pritt and her granddaughter will be making the pie for their family’s Thanksgiving this week.

“I can hardly believe we won,” she said.

For the second year in a row, Terry Foote took home the $50 second place prize. Dubyak looks forward to the event every year, as it gives him a chance to have fun while contributing to a worthy cause.

“I’ve always been a ham,” he said. “You don’t get to be an emcee very often.”