A Severna Park restaurant is challenging its customers to eat a very large sandwich to help an Elkridge girl who was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor last year.
This effort is part of The Breakfast Shoppe’s annual fundraising drive. Proceeds for this year’s gigantic sandwich will benefit Ava Claire Conklin of Elkridge.
“I was on their show on Sept. 2 and I had mentioned off the air to the staff I was working on a chicken waffle sandwich and Tony mention he would love to try it,” Algaze said. “I told him if he came and tried the sandwich I would name it after him. One thing led to another and we decided we could help and do something good by creating this whole big man vs. food challenge and name it after Tony Pann.”
Upon entering the hospital, 9-year-old Ava acquired meningitis and had a series of strokes while she was in a coma. One year later, she is out of the hospital and attending school, but has not regained the ability to walk or talk yet. Funds from The Breakfast Shoppe’s event will benefit Ava and her family.
“Each year we pick a fundraiser recipient, and my wife said ‘how about Ava?’ We know her father through business connection,” Algaze said. “Afterwards she had to go see a bunch of specialists. She just got home about five months ago and is back in regular school but can’t walk or talk. She has a good prognosis, and we just want to help with medical costs and rehab.”
Algaze said that when Ava’s family is finished with medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, they donate them to other organizations in need.
Beginning Oct. 22, customers can purchase the sandwich for a minimum donation of $35 to Ava and her family. If the customer consumes the masterpiece in under 40 minutes, The Breakfast Shoppe will match their $35 donation.
According to Algaze "The Category 3 TONY Chicken and Waffle 'PANN'wic,” is six pieces of hand battered chicken breast, eight pieces of smoked bacon, six pieces of pepper jack cheese, all layered between two bacon Belgian waffles and topped with scratch-made gravy.
“The bacon is sprinkled inside the waffle,” Algaze said.
Those who are able to consume the sandwich will also have their name engraved on a brick and displayed on the restaurant’s brick wall for no extra charge.
The whole fundraiser will kick off on Oct. 22 beginning at 5:45 a.m. live on WBAL-TV's morning show and it will run until the end of the year.
Algaze said Split Ends Salon will be doing Ava’s hair and nails in preparation for the event.
“It is going to be a special day for a great cause,” Algaze said. “We are extremely honored to have Tony Pann and WBAL-TV associated with this event.”