Ice cream social promotes family-based groups

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BRATTLEBORO — Free bowls of ice cream are a good way to bring attention to community organizations during the hot months of summer.

That's exactly what the Brattleboro Food Co-op is doing with its ice cream social on the Whetstone Pathway from 1 to 4 p.m. on July 22. A rain date is scheduled for July 23, with the same hours.

"We're hoping to get 400 or 500 people," said Jon Megas-Russell, marketing and community relations manager at Brattleboro Food Co-op. "We're hoping it becomes an annual event."

"Who doesn't like ice cream?" Megas-Russell asked before saying all are welcome to attend and there's no entry fee.

Megas-Russell said donations can be made to KidsPLAYce, the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro and Youth Services. All three local groups serve children and families.

"At the co-op, we've been talking about having fun and giving back to the community," said Megas-Russell, who had spoken with KidsPLAYce Executive Director Michelle Mahin about running a fundraiser for family-based organizations. "We're trying to do more for families in the community."

Now that Megas-Russell is a father, he said, "I'm thinking more about it."

He thought: "Why not give away ice cream? If people want to donate to the organizations, they can."

Building Bright Futures also will have a table at the event. The organization is working on ways to improve the quality of child care and education in Vermont.

The River Gallery School of Art will have "some sort of small art project," Megas-Russell said. Also anticipated is some kind of entertainment for the kids.

"We might have some other little tricks up our sleeves as well," he said.

The co-op picks a Producer of the Month to showcase. Selected is either a Vermont-based group or one within 100 miles of Brattleboro.

Wilcox Ice Cream was chosen for July. The Arlington company is going to provide ice cream for the event.

"I think they're going to donate most of it," said Megas-Russell.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or @CMaysBR.

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