The Battle of the Gems…

For those unfortunates of you, who couldn’t make it to last Thursday’s “Battle of the Gems,” here is a recap of the night, in photos.

The judges started the night at Gerrard Pizza, where the Greco family emerged from the kitchen and greeted them, with pizza of course!

The judges started the night at Gerrard Spaghetti and Pizza, where the Greco family emerged from the kitchen and greeted them, with pizza of course!

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The judges were then chauffeured to the next “gem” in our Gem-Mobiles — thanks Annette!

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Mary was busy behind the counter at Vincenzo’s when we arrived. She and her mom Sam had put together a huge spread of food for the judges in the store.

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Mary explained how her father Vincenzo had opened the store 51 years ago, after arriving from Italy with nothing. She and her mother Sam have been struggling to keep the store running since his death last fall.

Action shot of judges and DECAgems team walking next door, to Sunny's Auto Clinic.

Action shot of judges and DECAgems team walking next door, to Sunny’s Auto Clinic.

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Sunny has plans for a mural and some new paint. He started off alone three years ago, but has managed to hire two staff. He pretty much is the most lovable human on the Danforth. We all decided to take our cars to him immediately.

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The judges walked upstairs and into Face to Face Games to be confronted by 60-odd 20-year-olds playing a game called Magic. This is a typical Thursday night at Face To Face, owner Kelly explained. He and his wife met while studying early childhood education. He dropped out early from the course to open this games stores, because he decided he was more interested in prevention than therapy. Most of the clientele come from across town though — so he hopes DECA could spread the word about their after-school programs and summer camps for kids!

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Tibebe welcomed us all to his restaurant, Hirut, for the party.

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Jenn and three young teenage boys told the crowd and judges why they loved Face to Face Games and why it should win. “It has changed my life,” one of the boys said.

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The judges each made their selection. In the end, the tally was 3-1-1-1 for…..

Gerrard Spaghetti and Pizza!

Gerrard Spaghetti and Pizza!

Thank you to the creative, hard-working and fun group of volunteers who pulled off this wonderful event. Thank you also to the judges who gave us their valuable time. And thank you to all of you who voted, came to the party and continue to support local business.

The makeover, led by another great team of DECA volunteers, will take place in June.

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