Social offers ice cream, and much more

July 18, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. - They call it an ice cream social, but there was much more available Saturday at the Blue Ridge Summit Free Library.

Nachos, hot dogs, steamers, funnel cakes, baked goods, fresh flower arrangements, art prints, Christmas items and thousands of books all were available for sale at the library's 30th annual fund-raiser.

Members of the Fountaindale Fire Department gave children free rides in their firetrucks, while various musical groups played.

Cascade resident Faye Hiller, vice president of the Blue Ridge Garden Club, and June Mumma of Waynesboro, Pa., president of the club, arranged and sold flowers grown by club members. The club maintains a memorial garden beside the library.


Dani Fortner of Fairfield, Pa., a sixth-grader at Fairfield Middle School, received the 2004 Harvey Bridgers Award, presented each year to a fifth- or sixth-grader who best uses the library.

"She is often at the library and uses its facilities well," said Matt Lamer, vice president of the library board, in presenting the award. "She knows how to use the card catalog to find items she wants to borrow and is an avid reader who enjoys the selection of books available to her."

Fortner, who attended the event with her mother, Denise Fortner, said she comes to the library every Wednesday and every other weekend with her grandmother, who lives nearby.

"I sit down and read when Grandma comes to get books," she said.

The award includes a $50 savings bond.

Lamer, who was in charge of this year's event, said that besides being a major fund-raiser, the ice cream social is "a great community activity. We have a number of older people (in Blue Ridge Summit) and this is their outing. They see all their friends here. It's a great community gathering."

C.P. and Gertie Simmons of Hagerstown sat on a bench Saturday morning and watched the festivities. After living in Blue Ridge Summit for 26 years, they moved away 16 years ago, but come back every year for "the ice cream, the books and the friends," Gertie Simmons said.

The Memories Quartet strolled the grounds, greeting friends and singing gospel songs and old favorites.

Harold James of Funkstown, Jerry Hodge of Mercersburg, Pa., Ed Kakuk of Blue Ridge Summit and Don Dingee of Hagerstown have been singing in various quartets for "at least 40 years," Hodge said. All are members of the Hagerstown Barbershop Chorus, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

A branch of the Alexander Hamilton Memorial Library in Waynesboro, the Blue Ridge Summit Library serves patrons in four counties in two states, according to branch manager Nancy Bert. People come from Franklin and Adams counties in Pennsylvania, and Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland.

Well over 1,000 people attend the ice cream social each year, Bert said.

The library occupies the former train station of the Western Maryland Railroad, which provided passenger service to Blue Ridge Summit until 1957.

In 1958, 41/2 acres of land and the deed to the station were presented to the library's board of directors.

Ice cream was provided by Antietam Dairy, which donated a portion of the sales to the library.

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