Ice screamin' to raise money for the Blue Ridge Free Library

Event expected to raise thousands of dollars

Event expected to raise thousands of dollars

July 16, 2006|by KATE S. ALEXANDER / Staff Correspondent


Since 1982, residents of Franklin, Adams, Frederick and Washington counties have gathered on the third Saturday in July to celebrate their love of ice cream and raise money for the Blue Ridge Summit Free Library.

With a book sale, local vendors and, of course, ice cream available, residents came out Saturday to show their support for the library again.

According to Melodie Anderson-Smith, president of the board for the Blue Ridge Summit Free Library, the library serves the four counties that meet atop the mountain. Housed in what she called the "charm" of an old train station, the library's location draws many patrons.


Each year, thanks to those patrons, the Ice Cream Social generates significant funding for the library. Nancy Bert, library branch manager, figured that last year's social raised $4,500. The money goes toward the library's operating expenses, she said.

To raise money, the library takes donated books throughout the year. Dianne Aughinbaugh, book sale chairwoman for the social, said that residents are encouraged to bring whatever they have for donation. Librarians then sort the donated books, selecting which ones to sell and which to add to the library.

This year, Aughinbaugh said that residents donated more than five truckloads of books for sale at the social. While the library will sell most of the books, Aughinbaugh said that they never have sold all the books.

"Some of those books, I don't even think the mice want back," Aughinbaugh said.

After the fundraiser is over, Bert said that the library will sell the remaining books to Wonder Book and Video in Frederick, Md.

In addition to the book sale, all of the vendors at the social will donate a portion of their profits to the library.

Jake Sweet, owner of Antietam Dairy and the source of ice cream for the event, said that in years past, the library made its own ice cream. But as the event has grown, the library has turned to Sweet and his blue truck to provide the ice cream. Sweet said that his company donates a "good portion" of its earnings from the event to the library.

The library also provided entertainment for the event. The Blue Ridge Pickers have played for residents at the social since it began in 1982, and have become a tradition, Anderson-Smith said. Comprised of three men with a total of 75 years of playing experience, the Blue Ridge Pickers feature songs from days gone by.

For children, Deborah Heinecker, the library's children's librarian, arranged for Ray Owen of Gettysburg, Pa., to come and entertain. Presenting a program titled "Animal Odyssey," Owen entertained children as Jungle Jim the Zany Zoo Keeper with songs and jokes.

In conjunction with the fundraiser, Synergy Healing Arts Center & Massage School hosted an open house for visitors with free massages, and the Lions Club of America offered free eye screenings for children.

The Blue Ridge Summit Free Library will begin taking donations for next year's book sale in August.

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