They came wearing scrubs, white coats and comfortable shoes. Each also came armed with safety goggles, helpful assistants and plenty of clean linens. But no amount of preparation and precautionary measures proved effective – the nine participants left the MGH’s first pie-eating contest with blueberry stains and whipped-cream-streaked hair.
The event, held during the June 28 annual Employee Summer Picnic, served as the unofficial kick-off to the My Giving Helps: The MGH Fund + United Way employee campaign. More than 900 employees raised nearly $47,000 for the campaign, which will officially run Sept. 3-27.
While many of the contestants tackled the pies in a traditional way – including cardiologist Stephanie Moore, MD, who took top honors with 12 pies, therefore living up to her “pie princess” name – others took a different, more unique approach. In an attempt to make the event a healthier one and to tap into the creativity of the research community, MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD, worked with a team of scientists from the MGH Nanotechnology Lab to create “nanopies.” Slavin explained that his pie plate contained 1,100 of the nanopies, each measuring only about one millimeter in diameter – and that he had another 900 in a backup reserve if needed. As the crowd laughed and broke into applause, Slavin also read a humorous letter from the MGH Office of General Counsel proclaiming the pies as acceptable entries into the competition.
The other worthy competitors were Keith Lillemoe, MD, chief of Surgery – who took the honor of having the most supporters with 218 donations – as well as Harry Orf, PhD, senior vice president for Research Management; Walter O’Donnell, MD, clinical director of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Unit; Kevin Whitney, RN, associate chief of Nursing; William Maynard, manager of Environmental Services; Alasdair Conn, MD, chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine; and Milton Calderon, coordinator of the Volunteer Department. Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer from the New England Patriots also joined in the fun, with Mayo elbowing up to the table as a participant and Vollmer serving as a guest referee.