MARIETTA - The Washington County Fairgrounds were packed during Sunday's 29th annual Broughton Ice Cream Social, with hundreds of ice cream lovers showing up for this year's event that benefits the Right Path for Washington County and 11 area food pantries.
The social was originally scheduled for July 8, but organizers decided to postpone the festivities after the June 29 wind storm left thousands of area residents without power in record heat for several days.
"The change of date may have hurt us a little, but there were a large number of people who had no power for days, and people from our company were struggling as well," said Dave Broughton, general manager of Broughton Foods in Marietta.
Photo by Sam Shawver
Nate Ketchum, 6, of Marietta, checks out bowls of chocolate moose tracks at the Broughton Ice Cream Social.
In spite of the change, he estimated Sunday's turnout was still on a par with previous years.
"Our pre-sold tickets help make this event a success, but it's a perfect Sunday and we've had pretty good attendance," Broughton said, adding it will take three or four days before the total proceeds will be known.
"But we would consider $20,000 a pretty good year," he said.
Those attending this year's social could enjoy as much ice cream as they could eat. Broughton said flavors included chocolate moose track, cherry nut, and birthday cake, in addition to good old chocolate and vanilla.
Joey Sinnett, of Marietta, knew why he was there.
"The ice cream," he said. "The birthday cake and cherry nut are my favorites - but birthday cake is the best."
Judy McAtee, of Marietta, agreed.
"The root beer floats are good, too," she said. "And I think those people who didn't have power after the storm appreciate that the social was held until now. It was a hard time for them."
Right Path coordinator Cathy Harper was excited to see so many people turn out for Sunday's event.
"It's going great. We've had a good steady crowd all day," she said. "I'm really happy with the community turnout and with the number of volunteers who have come out to help. Many of the youths who come to our Saturday night dances and pool parties have been working here today, too."
The Right Path's mission is to encourage and engage young people in service opportunities to help them connect and feel part of their community.
Harper said this year's proceeds are being shared with 10 community food pantries and Harvest of Hope.
Candy Waite, who operates the Gospel Mission Pantry at the Harmar Community Center, said the funding help is appreciated.
"There are a lot of people in need, and this is going to help all of the area pantries," she said. "We provide food for anyone in need, and this will be such a blessing. I think this community loves to give, and this is a gift that will keep on giving."
In addition to the ice cream treats, Sunday's social included musical entertainment provided by The Faculty, South of the River Band, Joe Williams and Deep River and The Moon Band.