Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Herrell’s hosts event to support Whole Children

By Daniel Desrochers

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"Herrell's Ice Cream" Facebook Page

(“Herrell’s Ice Cream” Facebook Page)

In honor of the informal holiday “Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day,” Herrell’s Ice Cream in Northampton will be holding an ice cream breakfast benefit Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Whole Children, a Hadley-based learning program for children of all ages and abilities.

“Whole Children provides classes for everyone, and that’s why we wanted to help,” Herrell’s owner Judy Herrell said. “Just like there, everyone is welcome at Herrell’s, too. We are a big hug.”

Herrell said breakfast will include waffle sundaes, donuts à la mode and coffee with “an ice cream splash” for the adults, and will feature celebrity “ice cream scooper” Jarrett J. Kroscoczka, author of the “Lunch Lady” graphic novel series. Afterward, Kroscoczka will be at Booklink’s book store signing autographs.

Additionally, for those who have dietary restrictions, Herrell’s offers sugar-free, milk-free and gluten-free options.

Whole Children, which was created in 2004, was originally designed to provide students with disabilities with a place to have afterschool activities. From there, the program grew to accept students of all abilities, which helped create a positive environment for students and a safe place to participate in activities. There are now over 120 programs, including music classes, kung fu classes, yoga classes, theater activities and social relationships and boundaries classes.

“The program began by serving 40 families in 2004, and now has served over 800 families,” said Whole Children’s Development and Communications Coordinator Brittany Brown.

As the program grows however, costs increase. More teachers are needed, and the program offers a scholarship for students in need that also requires funding. Brown hopes that Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and other charitable causes will help Whole Children cover its current costs and allow it to create more educational programs for students.

Herrell, who is a former science teacher herself, said she understands the importance of education and programs like Whole Children.

In addition to the event benefiting Whole Children, Herrell’s has charitable events throughout the year for children, and also helps to teach science through ice cream.

“We’ve had classes in Holyoke, Springfield, Northampton and Hadley,” Herrell said. “We arrive at middle schools when they are learning chemical reactions and chemical states.”

“We teach them about little reactions, and for the final we make ice cream for everyone,” Herrell added.

The Feb. 6 holiday Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day was first created in Rochester, New York in 1966, the brainchild of a mother at home with several children on a snow day. For those who are concerned that February isn’t the right month to have an ice cream-based holiday in New England, Herrell says that it is not a concern.

“Massachusetts is the second highest in ice cream consumption per capita in America, behind only Alaska,” Herrell said.

In addition, the forecasted weather for Saturday has a high of 41 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s warm enough to melt ice cream, Herrell says, which means “it’s warm enough to eat it.”

Daniel Desrochers can be reached at [email protected]

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