FREE PIZZA: Des Moines Man Features on ‘Ellen’

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A Des Moines man was featured on Ellen on Thursday for his efforts to better Iowa.

Derrick Walton is the owner of Rock Power Pizza on Southwest Ninth Street. He grew up living rough on the streets but managed to turn his life around.

On Monday nights, Walton closes his restaurant to the public so he can serve free pizza to the homeless.

“Years ago when I found myself in a tight, I looked for people for help and I didn’t get that help. So I told myself if I got in a position to help, I would do that, so that’s what inspired me,” Walton told Channel 13 in January.

He told his story on Ellen and she presented him with a check for $10,000 to help.


  • Melissa LaFon

    OMGosh! If you have not had his pizza you have been missing something great! His sauce is incredible! Be sure to have a meatball sandwich as well! Mmmm the best ever!

  • Steve

    Thanks; grammar police, you’re insite into other peoples grammatical misconduckt, really point’s out how we is a society that shouldnt pay attention to the good things peoples due, but to whether or not evrything is splled and puntuated correctly? (There, now you can focus on all the spelling and grammatical errors in my post, meanwhile I will go and support the business that is trying to help the community in such a positive way!)

    • Rita Simpson

      Laura- I found it interesting that the first thing you do when you hear good news about someone is go look them up on like to throw dirt on his character. The charges are from 2008 and 2005; I’m not sure if you realize it’s 2014. So there is nothing you did last year that you regret? I’m sure if you looked back even a few years ago you would shake your own head. He didn’t murder someone and was not convicted of raping people, you do know that indecent exposure could also mean being drunk and getting caught pissing on a sidewalk? And burglary could mean still a bottle of alcohol (to unfortunately feed a habit)? Either way, I wouldn’t be quick to judge someone who admits they did wrong and are trying to forge a better future by helping others, and not just “every once in awhile,” but every Monday. smh.. people have too much time on their hands.

    • Duane

      I know Laura, she sells drugs to minors anyway. I am not surprised she looks up dirt on people. Usually when your guilty you are most concerned about others peoples guilt. As a goth angry druggy, that is what you expect.

  • Susan

    I’ve been in there several times Laura with my grandkids and there was absolutely NO hint of any sinister behavior. He said he changed his life around. Can no one get a second chance? Do I have any credibility to talk about this! yes, I do! I was abducted and hurt by a man when I was five years old. Give this guy a chance, at least he’s trying to get off the streets and has a JOB and is trying to do the right thing.

  • kris

    Amen to Steve!! I believe if you can’t say anything nice or positive, keep quiet!! That is why so many people turn mean, ugly, and always looking for faults in others.

  • tanner buckley

    This guy, Derrick, harrased my girlfriends sister for 2 months straight while she was an employee of his at Rock Power. He has charges against him in that category as well, just look him up. Im not saying he doesnt deserve some sort of second chance, but oiterally tore her to PIECES! She worked everyday, sometimes up to 14 hours, and was treated like a slave. She came home in tears a couple times till she decided to walk out on Derrick. Oh well, karma works in mysterious ways!

  • Just sayin'

    Amen, Susan! This poor guy is trying to turn his life around and help others along the way. More power to him! You are going into a public restaurant. Are people afraid he’s going to lock you in and try to attack everyone? jeepers. give the guy a chance

  • Mark

    I know Derrick personally. I have not met a nicer guy and a more passionate man about being good towards people. He loves God, his family, and obviously now homeless people. He is not getting an award or recognition for being the perfect man, but for making a chance and making a difference. I know that whenever you are on top you are gonna have “haters:. As far as working an employee for long hours. So what? That is why you quit. In the beginning of the start up with a small team it required a certain type of person. Maybe now of his success she wishes she didn’t walk out. I will vouch for this man!!!
    My life hasn’t been perfect and thank God for those who didn’t condemn me and gave me a chance. I trust Derrick to help me out because he understands Gods saving Grace and power to change a persons heart.

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