By Helen Stec
Like many local restaurant owners, Cory Hill is trying to make a profit off the viral video of a University of Connecticut student’s drunken outburst and arrest— but for charity.
DP Dough, a chain that specializes in calzones, wings, and breadsticks, announced Wednesday afternoon that it plans to donate $2 from every purchase made Tuesday and Wednesday of their mac and cheese, bacon, and jalapeño calzone to HuskyTHON.
HuskyTHON is a yearlong fundraising effort at UConn that raises funds for Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and culminates in an 18 hour dance marathon in the spring.
The viral video of UConn student Luke Gatti throwing a fit because the manager of the Union Street Market refused to serve him bacon jalapeño mac and cheese has been shared widely on the internet.
On Tuesday morning, Hill discovered that many of his friends had shared the video on his Facebook wall. He realized “Gatti” rhymed with “Daddy,” as in the name of DP Dough’s bacon mac and cheese calzone, the “Mac Daddy Zone”. Hill added jalapeños and christened his new creation the “Mac-Gatti Zone.”
However, after actually watching the video, Hill had a change of heart. The Mac-Gatti Zone is now known as the mac and cheese, bacon, and jalapeño calzone.
“I decided to change the name because, I mean, the kid was really out of line, but I wanted to continue offering the item. So, I changed the name and that’s when I also decided to donate the proceeds to HuskyTHON,” Hill said.
Why HuskyTHON? Hill cited its popularity and honesty.
“I think it has the biggest impact on, you know, it’s goal. I know that all the money raised goes to the charity, instead of, you know, sometimes the non-profit organizations filter the money through intermediaries, but I know that HuskyTHON is really effective. It gets people going—I mean it’s super popular with the kids—and I just figured it was the best cause,” he said.
HuskyTHON’s Vice President of Communications, Sarah Paduano, voiced the organization’s appreciation of DP Dough’s donation after the calzone chain informed them of its plans Wednesday night.
“They just reached out to us last night and said they were going to donate at least $400, which is so awesome,” she said.
According to Hill, DP Dough sold 266 of their mac and cheese, bacon, and jalapeño calzones as of Thursday afternoon. That should amount to a $532 donation.
However, Hill doesn’t plan on this being his last charitable act.
“I have a feeling that I might get involved with a student organization in the near future to raise more money,” he said, “but it won’t be related to the mac and cheese incident.”