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Good deeds from local eatery spark chain reaction of kindness

'It’s about the community and it’s unreal how they have come up with the pay-it-forward idea,' says Tops in Pizza owner
Christopher and Toni Marinakos of Tops in Pizza delivered lunch to the staff at the Front Street Shoppers Drug Mart, three weekends in a row. Contributed photo

Three weeks ago, Tops in Pizza owner Toni Marinakos, her husband Peter and son Christopher began sending pizza, pasta and sandwiches to front-line health-care workers fighting to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The act of kindness was a way for the family behind Tops in Pizza to show their appreciation for people in the community who are risking their lives every day.

What the Memorial Avenue eatery didn’t know was their actions would start a chain reaction of giving and kindness.

After arriving with lunch for the pharmacy staff at the Front Street Shoppers Drug Mart three weekends in a row, the staff returned the favour by purchasing 16 pizzas with garlic bread for the staff of Molded Precision Components. The Oro-Medonte company is working tirelessly to make 25 million medical masks for the protection of health-care workers, and preparing to make components for ventilators and other products that are required for fighting COVID-19.

“It’s been unreal, it’s still continuing and we are still doing our part, too,” Toni Marinakos said.

Since Shoppers Drug Mart continued the chain reaction of paying it forward, so have many other members of the community, who have also stepped up. 

Last week a local couple stopped by the eatery to purchase lunch for the fire department, while numerous people have dropped off cash to allow Tops in Pizza to continue their efforts. Marinakos also recently surprised the staff at the Orillia SPCA with lunch.

“It’s about the community and it’s unreal how they have come up with the pay-it-forward idea,” Marninakos said.

Tops in Pizza has had no shortage of orders between their own efforts to pay it forward and the countless community members who are doing the same. Marinakos says she is overwhelmed with the community support.

“We appreciate what our customers have done and if somebody wants to do something for somebody else let us know, we will pay it forward and keep it going for as long as we can,” she said.