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Harrison Pizzeria Raises Money for Public Library

HARRISON, N.Y. – Pizza 2000 donated 40 percent of its Tuesday earnings to the Harrison Public Library to go toward a potential renovation of the building.

Pizza 2000 owner John DiLuna, a member of the Harrison High School class of 1991, said the money donated to the library was from pizza orders that were either for take-out or dine-in.

"It's been hectic," DiLuna said about the fundraiser. "People are really responding. Our whole goal is to get the entire town involved, so we set it up that if they want to participate, they have to come in here."

In September 2011, the library paid H3Hardy Collaboration Architecture of New York City $11,000 to study the library to see what could be updated. The firm studied the building and held focus groups in the community to get feedback. By the beginning of October, potential plans were made public by the firm. The family of Richard Halperin, who died in 2008, said at the event that they would donate $1 million to the project if the community could raise $1 million as well.

"We are a part of this community, and we like to help it out as much as we can," DiLuna said. "I believe in giving back to the community, because I love it here. It's not just about making a quick buck. We'll sponsor Little League teams, too, not only in Harrison but in places like Rye and Mamaroneck as well."

DiLuna said he got the idea for the fundraiser from Jessica Burack, the newest member of the Harrison Public Library Foundation. Burack, an English teacher at Harrison High School, said in a press release that the library is a "fantastic resource for the community."

"Pizza 2000’s commitment to assist the HPLF in its mission in revitalizing the downtown library proves to town residents the value of a state of the art library as a true hub for intellectual promise," Burack said. She added that the library provides "all who frequent it with opportunities to expand their horizons."

DiLuna is hoping to hold future fundraisers to help the community. Over the summer, Pizza 2000 gives children a free slice of pizza and a soda for completing a book in the summer reading program. DiLuna said he is hoping that more people get involved with the town's beautification committee to help improve business downtown.

"A fundraiser like this is a positive thing for the community and the kids of Harrison," DiLuna said. "I'd rather have kids hanging out at the library than doing nothing on the streets of town."

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