Belpre alumni hold annual ice cream social

BELPRE — For the past two decades, the graduates of Belpre High School have gathered every second Saturday in July to share food and fellowship, and to support a good cause.

The 20th annual Belpre High School Alumni Association’s Ice Cream Social and Cruise-In on Saturday at Howes Grove Park brought together old friends to help support the funding of scholarships for BHS graduates.

Leslie Pittenger, class of 1975 and member of the BHSAA, said she knew the social was a success based on one fact.

“We ran out of ice cream,” she said.

Attendees were able to enjoy ice cream and cake, as well as hot dogs and other finger foods as they listened to live music and looked at classic cars in the park. David Prather, class of 1980 and member of the BHSAA, said the third year of the cruise-in at the ice cream social drew 50 cars and helped raise money so graduating seniors could continue their education.

“We do it for the kids and their scholarships,” he said.

Prather said this year, the association gave $16,000 in scholarships to 12 deserving seniors from Belpre High School. Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz, class of 1969, said events like the ice cream social are what make Belpre a great place to live.

“Anytime we can fill a park and see this many smiles is a good day for Belpre,” he said.

One of those smiling faces was Barbara Cramlet, of Parkersburg. Even though she didn’t attend Belpre High School, she still wanted to partake in the festivities.

“We just heard there were a lot of nice cars,” she said. “The music and the vehicles, it’s all just nice and clean.”

Jim Hensley of Little Hocking’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvair was one of the cars Cramlet was admiring.

“I’ve had this car for 50 years,” he said.

Hensley said he was the second owner of the car and brings it to car shows like the cruise-in to talk with others about old cars.

“I like meeting people and making new friends,” he said. “It’s all about relaxing and taking life easy.”

Even though a graduate of Belpre’s rival, Warren High School, Bill Scott has lived in Belpre for 20 years and has grown to love the community he now resides in.

“They even let me associate with them,” he joked.

Scott said the ice cream social shows how much his community cares about the people who live in it.

“I came down to eat and support the alumni,” he said. “We always like to support Belpre.”