New, messy twist for Crofton Farmer's Market's pie contest

Scott Hariton of H2 Markets pied Alyssa Santoro, executive director of the Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce, in the face at last week's Crofton Farmers market only to be redeemed by her 8-year-old daughter Jordyn who pied Hariton in return.
Scott Hariton of H2 Markets pied Alyssa Santoro, executive director of the Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce, in the face at last week's Crofton Farmers market only to be redeemed by her 8-year-old daughter Jordyn who pied Hariton in return. (Melissa Driscoll Krol / Correspondent)

The Crofton Farmer’s Market held its 3rd Annual Pie Contest with a twist June 13.

Public figures were present to solicit the crowd and fill their hats with charitable donations to prevent being “pied in the face.”


Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Alissa Santoro added the pie-in-face a public figure component to this year’s pie contest to maximize charitable donations to the Crofton Christian Caring Council’s Baby Pantry and the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program that split the proceeds.

“With our overdoses and abuse being an issue in the county, I thought it would be a good opportunity to support (D.A.R.E.’s) prevention efforts in the county,” Santoro said.


Santoro met with Anne Arundel County’s Police Chief Tim Altomare to discuss D.A.R.E. and hopes to raise enough funds to have a designated D.A.R.E. officer for the county.

Ray Leone, who is a candidate for the Board of Education, passed his hat around for just that reason.

“Having D.A.R.E. back in the school’s is one of the best things we can do,” Leone said.

Crofton Middle School Principal Nuri Williams came out to support D.A.R.E. as well.

“The chamber always partners with us for Student of the Month and supports us,” Williams said. “I thought I’d come out and support them for D.A.R.E.”

Sen. Ed Reilly was present and passed his hat to raise funds for the Baby Pantry.

“I’m here for three reasons,” Reilly said. “My church, Elizabeth Ann Seton, supports the CCCC, this is my neighborhood and I’m supporting my neighbors and it’s fun.”

County Councilman Andrew Pruski echoed Reilly’s reasoning.

“It’s for charity,” Pruski said. “Anything I can do to help out [the community] I will.”

As shoppers perused the Farmer’s Market, many stopped to purchase a slice of pie for $5 for the Baby Pantry. While the competition was slimmer than is year’s past, those who competed in the Bake-Off produced outstanding pies.

Samantha Bardoe competed and won in the savory category with a Royal English picnic pie. The pie looked like a picnic basket with interwoven rows of pastry complete with a twisted handle on top. It won best appearance and tasted unique with peppers, eggplant, rice, mozzarella cheese and its thick, homemade crust.

Vickie McQuade’s pecan pie and Ann Messinger’s apple pie won their respective categories with eye-catching appearances and tastes that were reminiscent of Thanksgiving.


Maureen Severin won the cream category with a lemon pie that had a balance of creaminess and tartness. Her pie sold quickly.

The four pie winners received a medal as well and a cooler bag for carrying their pies.

As the tastings and pie purchases were going on, the public figures were roaming the crowds asking for donations and chatting up the competition.

H2 Market’s Scott Hariton, who co-manages the Crofton Farmer’s Market with the GCCC, was a crowd favorite as many of the vendors wanted to see him pied in the face.

By 6:30 p.m. a crowd began to gather for the final count of donations and announcement for who would get a pied. As the counting commenced, Reilly tossed another $20 bill into Hariton’s hat, thus ensuring his win.

With $209 dollars, Hariton donned a rain coat and goggles to protect his contacts and received a face full of pie from second place winner Leone who raised $147 dollars.

After removing the goggles, Hariton made his way over to Santoro with the remainder of the cream pie in his hand. Santoro slowly moved back, protesting getting pied, but Hariton was faster and Santoro got a face full of pie.

However, as the crowd laughed, Santoro’s 8-year-old daughter Jordyn stepped in to defend her mother as she suddenly pied Hariton in the face again, sans goggles. A pie fight quickly ensued to the delight of the crowd as all three participants were good sports.

At the final tally, $668 was raised from the hat donations and $207 in pie sales. The hat donations will be divided between D.A.R.E. and the Baby Pantry. The Baby Pantry will receive all the funds from the pie sale.

McQuade who runs the CCCC Baby Pantry with her husband Art McQuade was grateful for the monetary donations, as well as the six cans of formula a Farmer’s Market visitor donated.

“The monetary donations (from the pie contest) will go to restocking the Baby Pantry,” said Vickie McQuade. “This includes formula, diapers, baby wipes, baby wash, baby lotion, rice cereal, apple juice and sippy cups, which are in high demand.”

The CCCC Baby Pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Community United Methodist Church, 1690 Riedel Road in Crofton.

County resident may visit the pantry once a month and must bring proof of residence and proof of their child’s age with a birth certificate, WIC card or something current that shows the name and age of the child on it.

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