Belpre ice cream social grows despite storms

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Belpre Mayor Mike Lawrentz, right, grills hot dogs with Larry Nutter, left, at the annual Belpre High School Alumni Association ice cream social at Howes Grove Park Saturday.

BELPRE — Since 1995 the largest fundraiser for the Belpre High School Alumni Association has been the ice cream social.

For 2017 organizers said despite the storm that swept through the valley Friday attendance did not appear to hold back anyone for coming out the annual event.

Even a tree branch falling on the park pavilion was not enough to stop or postpone the event.

Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz, who was manning the grill, said they were on track compared to previous years.

“We’ve served the hot dogs s fast here today,” he said. “We had a tree branch fall on the pavilion, but there was no damage and we have been busy keeping up with the demand.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Mason Henthorne spins a wheel for a prize as Maggie Menefee watches.

Sandy Fuller, a member of the alumni association said they never thought of postponing the event due to the weather.

“We were to far along in preparations to think about that,” she said. “It the bad weather had continued to today, we would have moved to the senior center.”

Fuller said many of the items served were donated to the association by Belpre residents, and many of those were alumni, said they had to pay for the hot dog wieners, but all else was donated.

Scott Church, president of the Belpre Alumni Association said for the past few years an antique car show has been a part of the social. He said that part has been growing along with the social.

“This is a show we put on ourselves and there are members from many of the local car clubs,” he said. “Last year we had 25 cars and this year we have 32, so we are building up.”

Photo by Jeffrey Saulton Keith Dorst of Belpre looks over a 1948 Studebaker Champion Coupe in the antique car show during the Belpre High School Alumni Association ice cream social.

Church said the ice cream social is not the only benefit for the alumni association, but it is the largest.

“This year alone we were able to sponsor $15,000 in scholarships,” he said.