Cancer patient wins free pizza, donates it

At Christmas time, Mario’s pizza in Northampton seems extra warm

(CNN) A Pennsylvania pizza shop held a contest for free pizza for a year. But to their surprise, their gift was given back to them.

At Christmas time, Mario’s pizza in Northampton seems extra warm. A lot like the smiles, passed for decades from the people behind the counter, to the customers in front of it.

Giovanni Aiello, a co-owner of the restaurant said, “I’ve been making pizza for 43 years.”

Frank Grigoli, the manager and owner’s son talked about one consistent about the food, “One thing we’ve never changed is the quality.”

That’s why, recently, they decided they’d reward their customers with something new: a contest for free pizza for a year.

Giuseppe said, “I thought someone would win, they’d be excited, they’d come in and get their pizzas and that’s it. But a story like this to come out of a contest like that.”

You see – when the computer randomly chose a winner from the 12-hundred who signed up.

Josh Katrick who donated his winnings said, “I’ve been getting pizzas from Mario’s since I was a kid.”

Up popped josh Katrick – someone who really deserved to get good news. Josh was diagnosed with colon cancer in July. He got the e-mail from Mario’s, just as he was leaving the chemo treatment center.

Katrick went onto say, “I remember coming out of there thinking, i just won pizzas for a year, that’s cool!”

Then Josh, a winner Mario’s found so deserving, did the darndest thing: he gave it away.

Katrick said, “I’ve been getting so much love and support, i just wanted to give back to people that could use it more than I could.”

So a pizza shop, known for spreading the warmth, decided this Christmas to spread it a little further. Their giving both josh and the food bank, free pizza for a year.

Giuseppe said, “It’s better to give than receive, and especially during this time of year, Christmas, it’s a great time to think about that and see examples of it around town.”

Grigoli talked about the satisfaction that came with it, “And this time of year, doing what we’re doing, i can’t think of anything better.”

This christmas, this group says they hope their story warms up your heart and reminds others to practice kindness. You never know when it might come full circle. The pizza shop gave josh the food bank’s certificates so he can deliver them personally. Meantime, Josh says his prognosis is good.