Pizzeria Helps Family Shed Light on Need for Suicide Prevention

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Ask anyone who knew Isaac Pedley what his favorite place to eat in town was and the answer would surely be Mod Pizza.  “He ate here as much as he ate at home sometimes,” said Isaac’s mom Jennifer Pedley.

A tradition of Mod staff is to great every customer that walks in with an enthusiastic “Hello!” While most are caught off guard or don’t reply back, when Isaac first stepped foot into the Pizzeria with a group of friends, he was the only one to reply back with an equally excited “Hello!” That would be the start of something special.

“We would introduce him as the Mayor of Mod,” said Eric Kowalski, General Manager for Mod Pizza in downtown Naperville. “Everyone who worked him knew him. He’d brighten up everyone’s day.”

So when the teenager died by suicide in April, 2017, Isaac’s family and the greater Mod family were in shock.

“Everyone that knew him loved him, just an amazing kid and when we lost him, it was really hard on all of us,” said Kowalski.

This fall, the restaurant revealed a photo of Isaac on their wall and has even named a pizza after him.

“I want so that when we hire new people that’s something we can talk about and wanted that to be a part of that, that needs to live and breathe here in this store,” said Kowalski.

For the three-hour dinner rush, Mod also donated 100% of proceeds to suicide prevention services of America.  “The fact that they’re sensitive to the issue at hand and it’s not a portion of, it’s 100%, that speaks volumes about this company and what they mean to Naperville,” said Ken Pedley, Isaac’s father.  But perhaps just as important, is bringing the issue of suicide to the forefront in hopes of sparking conversation.  “Isaac’s experience is not isolated. We know that,” said Jennifer. As a community we can start to talk about suicide. We can talk about how we can prevent any other family from having to go through this.”

“It’s okay not to be okay and people talking about that, hopefully great things will result from that,” said Kowalski.