SASi’s fundraiser packed with pi-filled fun

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SANDPOINT — One in five Americans have no idea what pi is, according to a recent survey by

When asked what pi is a measure of, 66 percent answered correctly — that it is a ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Another 15 percent of Americans guessed incorrectly, while 19 percent admitted they have no idea what pi is.

Pi has been calculated to more than a trillion digits beyond its decimal point, but is typically rounded down as far as 3.14. For this reason, Pi Day is celebrated in America each year on the fourteenth day of the third month, which happens to be Wednesday.

According to the survey, 55 percent of Americans will celebrate Pi Day by eating pie, posting on social media, and jogging or walking 3.14 miles.

The Sandpoint Area Seniors, Inc, however, had a messy idea for celebrating Pi Day — throwing pie in the faces of volunteers from throughout the community.

“I’m trying to find unique ways to fundraise and keep awareness up,” said Ellen Weissman, SASi executive director.

The first to sign up to take a pie to the face were Weissman and Bonner County commissioners Dan McDonald and Glen Bailey.

Since then, several more volunteers have signed up, including Sandpoint Police Chief Corey Coon and Captain Rick Bailey; Luther Park community relations manager Nora Horn; Alliance Family Services home care coordinator Gabby Hendrix; Jennifer Van Etten from Auburn Crest Hospice; Alpine Vista activities coordinator Helen Milne; Dr. Scott Burgstahler, Wayne Kerns and Rick Myers from Life Care Center; and Stephen Howlett, candidate for state representative, District 1.

Marchelle Fritz from Life Care will serve as the master of ceremonies for the event.

“We have all the people who (volunteered), plus we have got about 15 pies pre-purchased, or pre-committed, from Life Care,” Weissman said. “And Alpine Vista is bringing a group,

Pies will consist of whipped cream on paper plates, and will cost $10 for a small and $20 for a large. Volunteers will be covered and pie throwers will be required to stand a couple feet away, so they will not be able to squish it into someone’s face, Weissman said.

There will also be “surrogates” available, Weissman said. If somebody wants to throw a pie at one of the volunteers but can’t make it to the event, they can call SASi today or Wednesday morning to let staff know.

“They can either give us a credit card number or just tell us and we will trust them,” Weissman said, adding the pie will be thrown at the volunteer of their choosing.

The event will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at SASi, 820 Main St.

For those who would like to throw a pie or stay for lunch, RSVP is required by calling SASi at 208-263-6860 by 9 a.m. Wednesday. Leaving a message on the machine Tuesday night is acceptable as well. Lunch will be salisbury steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, and salad. Apple pie will be served for dessert.

Money raised will go toward all of the senior center’s vital programs, including the DayBreak Center, which is “invaluable” for families of those dealing with memory challenges, Weissman said. Some of the other programs the funds will help out with include help with snow shoveling for seniors, as well as the home delivered meals program.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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