Press Releases

Austin’s partners with Home Slice Pizza to Raise Money for the Austin Bat Cave’s Writing Program for Youth

AUSTIN, Texas – November 2, 2011 – With the holiday shopping season nearly upon
us, you’d think that online coupon giant RetailMeNot ( would
have their hands full helping millions of consumers get more for their money. But the
local startup jumped at the chance to join forces with Home Slice Pizza to be the lead
sponsor and host the 6th annual Carnival O Pizza
(, the proceeds from which will
go to support the Austin Bat Cave (, inspired provider
of creative and expository writing programs for kids aged 8-18.

“As we continue to grow our business as the largest online coupon marketplace in
the world right here in Austin, we’re committed to supporting the needs of our
community and local businesses that enable us to be a local success story” said
Cotter Cunningham, CEO of WhaleShark Media, operator of “We
are pleased to sponsor the Carnival and support a charity like the Austin Bat Cave
and hope our neighbors will stop by our booth and learn more about our company.
We encourage local businesses to post their coupons to our site for free; and we are
always looking for local talent to join our organization.”

“We’re super excited about the Carnival and our partnership with
In fact we’ve already begun raising money by selling raffle tickets in our stores.”
says Home Slice co-owner and Austin Bat Cave board member Jen Strickland. “This
money is going directly toward programs that help kids improve their writing skills
and publishes their personal stories, which creates so much satisfaction and self
esteem. It really opens a doorway into a better life.”

The Carnival is at once a celebration of the art of hand tossed pizza, a sixth birthday
party for the restaurant, and a charitable endeavor intended to give back to the
community that has made Home Slice one of Austin’s favorite eateries. The event,
which takes place Saturday, November 19, 2011 in the parking lot between Home
Slice Pizza and More Home Slice, will feature wacky pizza themed contests, carnival
games, entertainment, and many chances to win amazing prizes via both a raffle and
a silent auction. All proceeds directly benefit the Austin Bat Cave.

Highlights of the event include:


• Pizza Eating Contest in which 10 carefully chosen contestants vie to win free pizza for a year.


• Hands on an Eggplant (H.O.E.S) contest wherein the combatants place a hand on a Home Slice eggplant sub and leave it there for as long as they can. Last person touching the sub wins free pizza for a year. (Last’s year’s contest went 63 hours!!!)


• Dough tossing contest where local pizzerias including Hoboken Pies, Southside Flying Pizza, and Saccones compete against Home Slice pizzaioli for the largest stretch, fastest stretch and fastest box fold.


• Live music from Crooks, Big Don, Flying Balalaika Brothers, Residual Kid, Minor Mishap Marching Band and more.


• Dance performances by Little Stolen Moments and ATX All Stars. Magic show by Black Bert. MC rocked by the good folks from The Encyclopedia Show


• Live graffiti art installation by Austin’s best spray can wizards.


• Carnival midway featuring tons of silly stuff for the kiddos of all ages.


• Amazing Raffle: win prizes from, Hotel San Jose, Hotel St.Cecilia, Alamo Drafthouse, Stag, Shiner Beer, and close to a hundred more Austin businesses.


• (Mostly) Silent auction: Dave Eggers will have lunch with you, author George Saunders will critique your writing,and much more.

"We're really excited to be working with Austin Bat Cave this year. It's a cool feeling
that the money we raise will be put toward helping kids harness the storyteller within
and feel the sense of pride and power that comes from speaking one’s truth" says
Home Slice Pizza co-owner Jen Strickland. "In addition to giving many unpaid hours
of their time leading up to the carnival for planning, design, sign painting, pounding
the pavement for raffle prizes, and mobilizing Home Slice’s volunteer army of people
from the community that we call The Pie Club, our staff also wants to volunteer to
help out with kids someday” adds co-owner Terri Hannifin. “Their dedication to their
work has inspired us to work harder to put this event together.”

Manuel Gonzales, ABC’s Executive Director, agrees it’s a good fit. “We couldn't have
asked for a better partnership than the one Austin Bat Cave shares with the
awesome folks at Home Slice Pizza,” says Gonzales, “there's no better way to
highlight the creativity we inspire in the kids via our writing workshops than by
teaming up with them for this ridiculously super-creative day of family fun."

About Austin Bat Cave:
Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and
teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository
writing skills. They connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a
vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of their programs are free.
ABC understands that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town.
With all their programs, they strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help
teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own

About the Carnival O’ Pizza and Home Slice Pizza:
The idea for the carnival came from a desire to create an uniquely Austin version of a
mix of Coney Island, the San Gennaro Festival in New York’s Little Italy, and coowners
Jen Strickland and Terri Hannifin’s childhood memories of block carnivals in
support of various charities. Home Slice’s carnival continues in this tradition of
grassroots, makeshift neighborhood carnivals but augments it with events that
celebrate the art of hand-tossed pizza, and also serves a birthday party for Home
Slice itself and its mascot, Slicey, who turns 6 years old this year.
Home Slice Pizza is an independent neighborhood pizza joint serving authentic NYstyle
pizza – by the pie or slice – to nice people like you. Home Slice offers their
homemade, hand-tossed, bona fide pies for either dine in or carry out.
Home Slice Pizza has won best pizza in the Austin Chronicle Reader’s Poll every year
since 2007, was named #6 overall favorite restaurant in the 2011 edition of the
Chronicle poll, and has been featured in local and national press including Texas
Monthly, Delta Sky Magazine, Austin Monthly, Tribeza, Austinist, Spin, and Every Day
with Rachael Ray.

About ( is the leading consumer destination for
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experience. Since November 2006, our users have shared millions of deals at more
than 130,000 merchants. Online coupons are rated and ranked by users, ensuring
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About WhaleShark Media, Inc.:
WhaleShark Media, Inc. is the world’s leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company’s websites connect consumers seeking savings with discounts from more than 140,000 merchants, stores and retailers. WhaleShark Media welcomes more than 300 million visitors to shop its sites every year. The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes, the largest online coupon site in the United States;, the largest online coupon site in Europe;;;;; and WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Google Ventures, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).

Media Contact:

Home Slice Pizza
Joseph Strickland

Austin Bat Cave
Manuel Gonzales

RetailMeNot PR Department

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RetailMeNot PR Department
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