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Brooklyn's 12th "Ice Cream Social" provides cool coda to hot summer

Photo Credit: RITA A. LEONARD - Brooklyns Ice Cream Social organizer, Marie Phillippi, helped hand out the ice cream treats which - thanks to an anonymous benefactor who showed up just before the event began, and paid for all the ice cream - was free to all attendees this year. This year’s run of 90-degree days made the Brooklyn neighborhood’s twelfth “Ice Cream Social at Brooklyn Park” on September 7th an especially happy occasion.

Families and excited youngsters plunged into colorful events and activities, pausing to enjoy picnic food and chats with neighbors. Visitors came from far and near to take a chance on a free raffle prize, and to attend the annual end-of-summer event hosted by the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association.

This year, the BAC invited neighbors to set up information and sales booths at the Social. The free space provided an opportunity to sell handmade jewelry, photo postcards, and fresh-picked farm vegetables, or to advertise local organizations.

Raffle calls offered chances on prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses. Booths were manned by an acupuncturist, Salvador Molly's new Roadhouse Cafe, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Community Garden.

Live music was offered by The Yamhillbillies, with face painting by clown “Lee Loona”, and balloon animals made by clown “Gentle Biff”. Activities included the Polar Bear Bouncer, an impromptu basketball game, and impromptu fun on playground equipment up on the hill. Sacred Heart Catholic Church gave out free helium balloons to delighted youngsters, although several escaped to the sky during the afternoon.

Marie Phillippi, the event’s organizer, told THE BEE, “We were astounded during set-up when a man came over and gave us $200 so we could offer the ice cream free to everybody. He wouldn't give his name, but we were impressed by his generosity. Many customers who would have paid for their ice cream gave us donations also.” The Meals On Wheels People from Milwaukie Avenue at Center Street were back this year with a cook tent to sell hot dogs and Polish dogs, chips, and drinks. Brooklyn neighborhood T-shirts were also available. It was cool family celebration to end a hot summer.

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