Ice cream for all

Ice cream of many flavors, sundaes topped with anything imaginable and root beer floats will mark the 31st annual Broughton Food’s Ice Cream Social.

People of all ages can go to the Washington County Fairgrounds Sunday to enjoy all-you-can-eat ice cream at the social and let their money go to a good cause; this year the Marietta Youth Soccer is gathering all the proceeds from the event.

Tara Meagle, administrative assistant for the youth soccer league, said being the recipient this year is incredible.

“We’re actually very excited,” she said. “For one thing, it’s wonderful working with the Broughton’s group; they’re a wonderful family. They provide all the supplies and give back to the community and that’s something priceless.”

Meagle said one thing that’s kept group members on their toes is a time restriction on getting volunteers together for the social.

“We have to get over 100 volunteers down there,” she said. “We are doing it in three weeks. It has been crunch time…(but) we have not had a huge issue filling (the spots).”

Between 500 and 700 children participate in the youth soccer league each year and Meagle said it’s a great opportunity for them.

“Youth soccer has really gotten big these last years,” she said. “We’ve gone from really small numbers to now having 500 to 600 kids. We have kids from Parkersburg and Belpre. We really do have a large group and do represent the whole Mid-Ohio Valley. Kids have really good friendships…it’s a very good bonding for the kids.”

Chad Sargent is doubling up on volunteer duties from two sides at the event: both through Broughton’s as well as the Marietta Youth Soccer.

“I’ve volunteered over many years,” he said. “I’ve been with Broughton’s for 13 years and I’ve been with the soccer league for 10. I think I’ve done the social maybe eight of those years.”

Sargent said the social is a great opportunity for the soccer league.

“The kids work very hard all year long,” he said. “It’s nice to see them get rewarded for it. (The league) has come a long way in 10 years as far as numbers. I’d love to see it grow even more.”

The J.M. Smucker Company will again donate toppings for an estimated 10,000 sundaes that will be made during the event, and the Marietta Brewing Company will be providing root beer for approximately 5,000 root beer floats. Between 500 and 600 gallons of ice cream are served every year during the social.

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to the event, which runs from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and enjoy live entertainment. There will also be inflatables set up for children and the Black & White Club will have a dairy cow there.

Tickets for the social can be purchased in advance for $3.50 at Apex Feed and Supply, Peoples News and Broughton Foods in Marietta.

Tickets can also be purchased the day of the social for $4.

Sargent said volunteering with the social is something he enjoys doing.

“My whole family does it,” he said. “It’s a nice activity to do with family. It’s good to see all the kids when they realize the ice cream’s…all-you-can-eat.”

Meagle said the event is a big opportunity for the group to raise money for field maintenance and is looking forward to the support.

“It’s all going to pay off,” she said. “It’s going to be wonderful.

I just hope that everybody comes out and supports us and supports the Broughton’s family.”