VIENNA - The Vienna Volunteer Fire Department's annual ice cream social was a huge hit Friday night, organizers said.
Fire Chief Steve Scholl reflected on the first event without former chief Danny Goodwin. He said the fundraiser usually brings in about $14,000 and the late Goodwin was there in spirit.
The skies were also on the event's side.
Two-year-old Leah Morris eats some rapidly melting ice cream Friday night during the annual Vienna Volunteer Fire Department ice cream social. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Caelyn Wise of Girl Scout Troop 5689 of Vienna looks for open spots in which to place desserts Friday night during the annual Vienna Volunteer Fire Department ice cream social. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Six-year-old Joe Taylor, left, munches on a hot dog while his three-year-old brother Charlie licks his finger Friday night during the annual Vienna Volunteer Fire Department ice cream social. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
Laura Anderson, left, and Penny Wheeler, members of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary volunteers, put hot dogs together during the annual Vienna Volunteer Fire Department ice cream social. The two estimated approximately 2,500 hot dogs had been served in the first 90 minutes of the event. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
"Mother Nature shined on us today," Scholl said. "This is an average crowd; we have it down to a science by now."
At $2 a ticket, volunteer firefighters scooped gallons of ice cream and handed out homemade cakes and pies to guests, while others organized the children's games in the fire department annex next to Spencer Park.
The ladies auxiliary served hot dogs with a special sauce and the smell of onions permeated throughout the park.
Tiffany and Zack Kiger of Vienna attended the social with their 4-year-old daughter, Ava. The family came out for an evening of fun and socializing.
Tiffany Kiger said she has lived in the area her entire life and enjoys seeing old friends and everyone gather at the event.
"They sold us on the door-to-door ticket sales," Zack Kiger said.
The family said they also came out for the desserts.
"It's fun," Tiffany added.
Mayor Randy Rapp, his family, Councilmen Steve Stephens and Jim Miracle were among other members of the city there in an effort to support the fire department.
Stephens and his grandson, Jaxon, were joined at the hip to watch the fire trucks and maybe see one up close.
Many area volunteer fire departments are invited at a county meeting, including the Williamstown and Lubeck volunteer departments, Scholl said. Lubeck set up a dunk station and there was a ring toss for visitors to enjoy after going through the line of treats in the fire station.
"We all try to go to each other's to help each other out," Scholl said.
Doyle Burkholder said he retired as an honorary member and captain of the VFD and has helped with the social for about 28 years.
"It's a good event," he said.
Burkholder and his grandson, Chase, were hanging out close to the police station Friday. Chase, decked out in a police uniform, is an aspiring policeman, he said.
The event is the sole fundraiser for the fire department and revenues go toward trucks, hand and rescue tools for the department. Scholl said the city of Vienna funds many aspects of the department but the social is a way to bring in more money for unforeseen purchases.