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Pandemic pie

Founders continue annual charity event to raise funds for Chase Kuehl

By Dave Hoffenberg

Pie in the Face for Chase started in 2014 and became an annual event where 20-30 people from the surrounding area volunteer to get pies splashed into their face at Moguls Sports Pub in Killington to raise money and awareness for local Rutland boy, Chase Kuehl who suffers from Phelan McDermid Syndrome.

This year, the pandemic has canceled the seventh annual event but it didn’t stop DJ Dave Hoffenberg from having his own personal pie-a-thon. He recruited fellow O.P. (Original Pie-ee) Peter Whittier to take pies with him. Whittier took his pies in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada and Hoffenberg at Moguls.

Chase Kuehl was diagnosed with Phelan McDermid Syndrome at the age of 2 and is one of only 2,000 people diagnosed worldwide. Phelan-McDermid Syndrome (PMS), is also known as 22q13 Deletion Syndrome. It is a genetic condition that is caused by a mutation of the SHANK3 gene or a deletion (a missing piece) of genetic material that causes many different but related symptoms. The genetic changes that cause PMS vary from person to person and can occur randomly (de novo) or be inherited from a parent who carries a related genetic change. There is no cure.

Dave Hoffenberg started the Pie in the Face for Chase charity work in 2014 with Chase’s parents Annie and Rick Kuehl.

This year, on Oct. 22 (International Phelan-McDermid Syndrome Day), live on the Facebook page “Pie in the Face for Chase,” Hoffenberg and Whittier got hit with pies. Peter Whittier was pied by his daughter Emma with $22 whipped cream pies (the disease is a loss of chromosome 22). Hoffenberg was pied by Kuehl with $22 whipped cream pies and $44 green pudding pies (green is the color for the charity). Combined they took 75 pies to their faces and raised $2,900.

“Chase is a special boy who is very near and dear to our hearts. Chase requires lots of care so know that 100% of the proceeds went directly to his trust fund, which will pay for medicine, therapies and his care,” Hoffenberg said. “We appreciate everyone’s support over the years and will be calling on some new candidates to be pied at next year’s event on Sept. 12, 2021.”

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