My name is Fredi Bello, better known as Fredi the PizzaMan. Here is a little background information about me. I am 48 years old and have been in the pizzeria/restaurant business for 37 years. I spent 10 years as a young boy working with my father and learning the ropes. I have spent 27 years as an owner in this business. Making pizza and serving people has always been a passion of mine, but my biggest passion is my foundation for Autism. I started the Fredi the PizzaMan Foundation for Autism 501(c)(3) because I wanted to help the people who work so hard to help these kids succeed in school and for the families that autism effects.
Autism has affected my family personally and after seeing the teachers who work with these children put their heart and soul in to preparing these kids for a bright future, I knew I wanted to do something to help. Three years ago, I began the Fredi the PizzaMan golf outing to raise money for the classrooms topurchase the equipment that can provide these kids with the sensory and motor input they need to make progress in their school environment. We were able to raise ~$8500 in 2 years, which helped to redo one of the sensory rooms for an autism classroom. At that time, I also started the #PopThatTab fundraiser. This was a way to encourage people to save the tabs from their aluminum cans and donate them to the foundation. This helped in 2 ways: first it helped to bring awareness to this cause and second, it helps to raise a little extra money for the foundation when the tabs are turned in. There has been overwhelming support for the #PopThatTab movement. We are amazed daily at the number of people that drop off bags of tabs to the pizzeria in support of this foundation. We even have 14 large water jugs spread around the Metro Detroit area in local businesses to collect as many tabs as possible and to continue to spread awareness. My goal for #PopThatTab is for it to one day be a universal symbol for Autism awareness and support, just as the blue light bulb is during Autism Awareness month that occurs in April.
Since the golf outing has been such a success and sold out last year, I also want to make people aware of other ways they can support the cause if they aren’t golfers or in the event it sells out again. If people go to www.FredithePizzaMan.com, they can help in multiple ways. We have shirts and hats available for purchase (proceeds go to the charity) or people can sign up to make a one time or monthly donation using PayPal. The website also includes information on future fundraising events as well as all the social media accounts that link to the foundation and myself. You can find us at Fredi the PizzaMan on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Gmail. We are also looking for people that want to donate raffle items and gifts for the golf outing.
We hope to build the foundation to be able to provide supplies to Autism and special education classrooms around the state. We also want to give back to the families affected by this diagnosis by planning events that are Autism friendly and can give the parents of these children a well-deserved night out. We are fighting to bring awareness and acceptance to this cause one day at a time.
Fredi Bello, AKA Fredi the PizzaMan
New #SOL #StaffordOurLeader