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Hughson youth wins pumpkin pie contest; 123 pies donated to United Samaritans
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Pumpkin pie contest judge Ramon Bawanan takes a closer look at one of the 20 entries in the 17th annual contest that benefits the United Samaritans Foundation's Daily Bread lunch program. - photo by NANCY ANGEL / The Journal

The next generation of pastry chefs in the Turlock area are leaving their mark, at least when it comes to pumpkin pie.

Ten-year-old Hughson resident Riley Sheuber won first prize in the Dubyak Chiropractic Pumpkin Pie Contest to benefit the United Samaritans Foundation Thanksgiving lunch.

“This win is very exciting,” said Riley.  “My mom and I worked on the pie together the night before the competition.  It took us three attempts to get the pie perfect.”

Riley’s mother Sarah Sheuber said they used a family recipe and canned pumpkin filling to add the finishing touches.  The pie was so well-received she decided to enter it into the contest.

“My role in the pie baking was making sure Riley measured the ingredients correctly,” said Sarah.  “I helped a little with the making of the crust, which was the hardest part of baking this pie.  It was really important to make the pie look beautiful and presentable to the judges.”

Riley won $100 and the knowledge that her pies — each contest entrant had to submit two pies — will be enjoyed by those served through the USF’s Daily Bread lunch truck program on Thanksgiving Day.

Each November bakers of all ages and every skill level are asked to prepare the best pumpkin pie in their repertoire and compete for cash prizes. This annual pie contest not only gives amateur bakers a chance to shine, it also helps feed hundreds of hungry people in the Turlock area.

Local chiropractor Dave Dubyak holds the pumpkin pie contest every year, with the caveat that all participants submit two pies — one for tasting and judging and one that is given to the United Samaritan Foundation’s Daily Bread program and served as dessert on Thanksgiving Day.

Twenty pies were entered into the 17th Annual Pumpkin Pie contest on Monday and 103 more were donated to the USF, including 50 pies from Ceres High School home economic students.

“It’s wonderful to know that people take the time to bake these pies for others that are in need on Thanksgiving,” said USF Chief Operating Manager Maris Sturtevant.

The judges of this year’s contest included Hughson Mayor Ramon Bawanan, Waterford Mayor Charlie Goeken, Maria Henry, President of United Way Francine DiCiano, and Stantec Senior Associate Chris Vierra.

“It was difficult to judge so many delicious pies,” said Bawanan.  “Everyone worked really hard and most of them were extremely delicious.”

Dubyak said he will continue to sponsor the contest every year for the foreseeable future.