Few things go better together than warm weather and ice cream. The trick is to eat it quickly and in mass quantities and folks will have a chance to do just that at the 30th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social.
The social will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Washington County Fairgrounds.
The forecast is calling for a break in the oppressive heat and organizers say they hope the crowds will come to take advantage of all the treats while supporting a good cause.
"We have about 40 employees who volunteer at the social and we figure we take about 600 gallons of ice cream," said Neil Schilling, an employee of Broughton Foods.
On top of the traditional vanilla and chocolate flavors, Schilling said Broughton's usually brings out some novelty ice cream flavors which have included Extreme Moose Tracks, Blueberry Cream Pie, Cherry Nut and Birthday Cake in the past. A couple new flavors from Broughton parent company Dean Foods' Mayfield ice cream brand, a sister company, may make an appearance.
"Mayfield has a new German Chocolate Cake ice cream and Carmel Toffee Crunch, which seems to be doing pretty well," Schilling said.
Fruit drinks, water and toppings for as many as 10,000 sundaes are also donated for the event, which has raised more than $450,000 to benefit 38 community organizations since the social's beginnings. The Marietta Brewing Company will donate root beer for around 5,000 root beer floats.
This year the event will benefit the "Healthy Kids Appalachia" hunger program and the Southeastern Ohio Food Bank. Both initiatives are being spearheaded by the Hunger Solutions task force, a partnership of the Memorial Health System, Peoples Bank and Marietta College.
"The idea (for the Hunger Solutions task force) came along about this time last year," said Tom Perry, director of college relations at Marietta College. "The three organizations recognized a need in the community and each had a role to play: The college with our student volunteer groups, the hospital with its experts in health care, and the bank is a good community partner that can assist with the financial backing."
Last year The Right Path for Washington County was one of the beneficiaries, splitting around $15,000 with the food pantry fund at the Marietta Community Foundation.
"We were really excited to get the social last year," said coordinator Cathy Harper. "It was a very good experience ... the kids jumped in to do whatever was asked and it was good for them to be able to give back to the community and for the community to see all these kids that really went above and beyond."
Harper said that the social is a collaborative effort and every year there is a learning curve to try to make the event as good as it can possibly be.
"Everything is all positive and the potential is amazing ... it is great that Broughton's continues this event," she said.
Different civic organizations and community members volunteer each year to help dish up the creamy goodies and Dave Bricker, past president of Marietta Noon Rotary, has had his hand in things, so to speak, for the past six years.
"I'm usually underneath the grandstand and after about a two to three hour shift, your wrist starts to hurt from digging into the ice cream," he laughed. "But this is a great event, great outreach for Rotary, whose motto is 'Service Above Self.'"
Bricker also brings along many of his 10 children who enjoy the event every year.
"They really look forward to it because they get to try new ice cream flavors that aren't available everywhere," he said. "Birthday cake is a favorite."
Tickets are $3.50 in advance and $4 the day of the social. They can be purchased through Broughton's, Peoples News, Apex True Value, We Luv Pets, Warren's IGA, Williamstown Auction Center, White Oak Pharmacy, Belpre Kroger, Newport IGA, Waterford Commercial Bank, Beverly Citizens Bank, B&W Pharmacy, Webers Grocery, Hurst Tractor Sales, Oopsa Daisy Florist, Guyz and Galz, Community Action, Marietta Harbor, Courthouse Cafe, Dough Boyz Pizza, Huck's Farm Market and Smitty's Pizza.