Ten-year-old Guilford resident Brennan Gollaher had a great idea for an ice cream flavor: Nutella-flavored ice cream with chocolate chips. Not only has made this flavor a reality for Gollaher, but it's become one of the two finalists in the contest, sponsored jointly by Ashley's and Connecticut-based charity United States of Community Service (USCS). For the month of July, all proceeds from the sale of these two flavors at any of Ashley's five locations will go to benefit five local kid-based charities.
The finalist competing against Gollaher's flavor is Red-White-and-Blueberry, created by Caroline Holmes, 11, of Greencastle, PA. Her flavor is a sweet cream ice cream with cherries, white chocolate chips, and blueberries. Almost 400 ice cream flavors were entered into the contest by kids ages 5 through 13. “It was a tough decision,” said Ashley's owner Joe Ametrano in the USCS press release. “The kids did a fantastic job coming up with new flavors and interesting combinations—and there were more than a handful that we really thought would both taste great and sell well to benefit the five charities we’re supporting with this contest.”
The winning flavor will be announced at a press conference at the Nathanael B. Green Community Center in Guilford on July 17 (National Ice Cream Day) at 6 p.m. The winning ice cream creator will receive a $25 Ashley's gift certificate, a USCS t-shirt, and will be featured on the USCS website.
Voting in Ashley's five locations including Branford began on July 1 and ends Thursday, July 14. The flavors will be available through the end of the month.
Founded in 2010, USCS is the brainchild of two girls, nine-year-old Delaney and eight-year-old Addison Kenney of Guilford. They turned their second annual almost-sleepover into a community oriented event: they made cookies for seniors, painted ornaments to go to hospital rooms, and created cheery greeting cards to be delivered to a local retirement home. All of the girls attending the party had to bring a set of new children's winter pajamas to be donated to kids in need. The girls and their friends received a National Make a Difference Day Award for the event. Ashley's owner Joe Ametrano donated ice cream for their almost-sleepover, and has been a supporter of their group ever since. The event has sprung into a nationwide phenomenon, with simultaneous almost-sleepovers happening in 28 states this October 22; the USCS hopes that the number will continue to grow between now and this fall.
The Create a Flavor, Change the World contest is not only helping spread the word about USCS's projects, but is raising funds for five local organizations: the Guilford Library's Children's Room Adopt-a-Book Program, the Children's Place at in Branford, Life Haven in New Haven, the Children's Center of Hamden, and Ucan2's LifeStraw project in Madison. In addition to the proceeds of sales for the two contest flavors going to these groups, each of the five Ashley's location has collection jars featured for those who would like to contribute.
In a show of solidarity, Caroline's home ice cream shop, Mikie's Ice Cream & Green Cow in Greencastle, PA, is donating all of the proceeds from the sale of Caroline's flavor from July 15-17 to Caroline's chosen charities: a local breast cancer awareness organization and the local animal shelter.