Ice Cream With a Cause


Jun 10, 2009

Alright, who doesn’t like ice cream?

Personally, I could eat ice cream all day long, every day of the
week for 365 days of the year. That is why when I was assigned to cover
the 27th Annual Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl in City Hall Plaza in downtown
Boston, it was like a dream come true!

The Jimmy Fund Scooper Bowl presented by FedEx is the nation’s
largest all-you-can-eat ice cream festival. The event serves up ice
cream from nine of the nation’s leading ice cream companies while
raising money for the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research and
treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Thanks to the generous support of native Bostonians, the 2008 Jimmy
Fund Scooper Bowl presented by FedEx raised more than $345,000,
bringing the 26-year total to more than $2 million. This year’s event
is sure to bring in even more. Patrons give $8 dollars at the gate, get
handed a spoon, and are given the key to eat all the ice cream their
stomachs can endure.

On Tuesday, my photographer Bryan Brennan and I
headed down to City Hall Plaza to conduct interviews with the Red Sox
wives who were in attendance as celebrity scoopers. I didn’t even know
there was such a thing. But sure enough, the “celebrity-scooping Red
Sox wives” were just a piece of the entertainment going on. There was
music, games, kids laughing and hoola-hooping in the puddles, and of
course, tons of ice cream! The best part was that people were enjoying
themselves all for a good cause — the Jimmy Fund. I sampled a few
flavors myself, and realized that whoever came up with this idea was a
genius. Is there any better way to raise money for charity than to hold
a huge ice-cream-a-thon with the largest variety of flavors? I’m
talking vanilla samples, lobster tracks, cookies and cream, gelato and
every other taste you can imagine. The Scooper Bowl features more than
40 flavors of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and gelato
from Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Brigham’s, Cold Stone Creamery, Doriti
Gelati, Edy’s, Elan Frozen Yogurt, Garelick Farms/Giffords, Haagen-Dazs
and HP Hood.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona’s wife Jacque and I
had a nice conversation about the days’ festivities. She said she
couldn’t think of a better way to spend her time supporting the Jimmy
Fund, and mentioned that the wives come out to support the cause every
year. Mike Lowell’s lovely bride Bertica couldn’t
contain the smiles on her face as she participated in the Scooper Bowl.
She said it’s her favorite Red Sox event that she takes part in. Her
husband is a cancer survivor and strong supporter of the Jimmy Fund.
That family is just one of the many that appreciates the community
efforts to raise money.

August 27 and 28 is the eighth annual WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund
Radio-Telethon. Over the course of the next few months, NESN producers
and talent will be busy gathering the stories that make those two days
so memorable in New England listeners’ ears and hearts. The Scooper
Bowl is just one of the many events taking part around the nation with
hopes that one day a cure will be found. It is with the help of loyal
supporters, including ice cream lovers, that a difference is made. The
Scooper Bowl will continue on Wednesday and Thursday at City Hall Plaza
from noon until 8 p.m. Kids left school early to get a chance to sample
a different flavor of ice cream in the cloudy and gloomy Boston
weather, but nothing stopped them from realizing the impact they
created. Every child I spoke to showed me their stack of empty cups
while predicting what their end of day goal would be. But every child
also responded with the same answer when asked “Why is this day so
important to you?”

With sticky fingers and ice cream remnants in the corners of their
lips, the answer was unanimous: “Because it’s for the Jimmy Fund! Why

I couldn’t agree more.

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