Packing in the pies

July 3, 2014
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Jack Sape, 15, of Bloomfield Hills (center) eats like a champion during the Pentwater Annual Miller’s Scholarship Pie Contest. Sape won his age division by finishing his pie first.

PENTWATER — There is nothing that says ‘small town America’ more than a good ol’ pie-eating contest in the summer.

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A crowd gathers around the adult competitors during the Pentwater Annual Miller’s Scholarship Pie Contest Thursday afternoon. Luke Morath,18, of Chicago won the adult division.

That’s exactly what happened Thursday afternoon on the beautiful Village Green and Gazebo during the Pentwater Annual Miller’s Scholarship Pie Contest. The event, which takes place every year over the Fourth of July holiday, raises scholarship money for area college students.

“I’m not going to be eating pie for awhile,” said 18-year-old Luke Morath of Chicago after he won the adult division of the pie-eating contest. Morath finished his apple pie before any of the other competitors. When asked how the 6’6”, 250-pound teen “trained” for the event, he said, “I eat a lot.” This is Morath’s second title. He won the 11-17 age division three years ago. Playing football and running track cause him to eat plenty.

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Pie eaters get ready for the contest to start.

Jack Sape, 15, of Bloomfield Hills won the 11-17 age division. Sape felt the same way as Morath. “I’m not going to eat cherry pie again for at least a year,” he said, with pie crumbs still stuck to his face. This is his first pie championship. “I took second place five years ago,” he said.

The winner of the 0-10 age group was 10-year-old Peter Velbuizen. All winners received gift certificates to local businesses.

The event drew a mob of spectators, and Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart) and Rep. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) were on hand as emcees.

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Smaller pies were used in the 0-10 age division. Peter Velbuizen, 10, won the children’s division.

Hundreds of homemade and purchased pies are donated, and either auctioned off; sold by the slice; or used in the pie-eating contest. The auction was just getting started after the 2 p.m. pie-eating contest. The highest bid that has been received in the auction was $1,200 a couple years ago, said Pentwater Village President Juanita Pierman. The Miller Family of the Pentwater area donates $5,000 every year to the scholarship fund, she said.

Those who enter or purchase a pie at the event can enter a college student in the drawing for a scholarship. The drawing takes place Saturday at noon on the Village Green.

 

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