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PDQ employee with Down Syndrome featured in documentary for supporting people with disabilities

Sam Piazza stars in “Because of Sam”
Sam Piazza works at PDQ
Posted at 3:19 AM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 07:27:21-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Sam Piazza takes a bus to his job at the PDQ restaurant in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood five days a week.

The fast casual chain hired the 29-year-old six years ago.

Sam works in the kitchen and the dining room. He cooks. He cleans. Anything that needs to be done.

And he always does it with a smile. 

“The best part of my job are the people,” says Sam, who has Down Syndrome. “They give me energy, make me full of life.”

Sam’s hard work at PDQ is just part of the reason he’s starring in a new documentary called “Because of Sam” by local filmmaker Renee Warmack.

Sam was bullied as a kid. He is now a tireless advocate for people with disabilities with speaking engagements on behalf of the Special Olympics, the Best Buddies program and GiGi’s Playhouse.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office honored Sam as a community hero.

“I do it for me and I do it for people who have disabilities out there who can achieve their goals and dreams,” says Sam.

“Sam has survived and thrived,” says filmmaker Warmack, who first heard about her star when he was crowned Homecoming King at Gaither High School. “All people are going to be inspired by this movie.”

Warmack is seeking more funding so she can put the finishing touches on “Because of Sam” and have a proper premier in Tampa this summer.

To contribute or watch the movie trailers, visit

Monday, July 29, 2019
5:30 PM
Tampa Theatre
Tampa, FL
Buy tickets here

Because of SamFILM
Monday, July 29, 2019
7:30 PM
Tampa Theatre
Tampa, FL
Buy tickets here