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Pizza Pizza raises funds for Pakistan

Having grown up in Pakistan, Gina Rasool knows what it’s like to be a woman with limited access to essential supplies.
Gina Rasool, the owner of both Pizza Pizza restaurants in Sudbury, will be travelling to Pakistan to hand deliver relief funds to women and children effected by the floods.
Having grown up in Pakistan, Gina Rasool knows what it’s like to be a woman with limited access to essential supplies.

She said women and children in the “male-dominated” country often don’t have the same opportunities as men, and are likely suffering more as a result of recent floods in the country.

That’s why Rasool, the owner of both Sudbury Pizza Pizza restaurants, has decided to hand-deliver supplies to women and kids in Pakistan.

She and three other Sudburians will be departing in early November for a 15-to-20-day stay. She said a first-hand look at the situation will help them buy supplies and daily living necessities based on the needs of people there.

Rasool has been raising money through pizza sales at her restaurants since July 31. An employee, Sylvia Chiasson, suggested hosting a fundraiser dance. Rasool then teamed up with Justin Wallace, owner of Nickel City Sound and Lighting, to put on the Helping Hands Benefit Dance, scheduled for Sept. 17.

All funds raised at the event will go to the people of Pakistan.

Wallace, along with Chiasson and Rasool’s friend, Julie Nykilchyk, will be part of the mission. Wallace, who has never been to Pakistan before, said, “It’s going to be quite an experience.”

He admitted that it might not be his “dream” holiday, but he believes that it’s for a good cause.

“It’s nice to see that Canadians can get together and lend a helping hand, especially Sudburians, that they can unite for a greater cause.”

For their safety, the four ambassadors from Sudbury will be accompanied by security guards and army members, according to Wallace.

“There’s a lot of action going down in Pakistan right now,” he said.

The four will spend their time in Pakistan sleeping in tents so they can get a first-hand feel of “how people are living out there and how they’re coping with the devastation.”

Each of the four travellers will be paying his or her own way to Pakistan, so all money raised can go to help people there.

Rasool said they hope to raise about $10,000 before departing. Pizza sales have generated about $1,000 for the campaign so far.

Tickets to the fundraiser are $20, and can be purchased from either Pizza Pizza location, online at, or by phone at 705-561-4661 or 705-988-1411. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Howard Johnson hotel on Brady Street has donated its conference lounge to the event, which is scheduled to take place from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Wallace and his company will supply the music, and Pizza Pizza will provide food.