By Maria Jose Subiria
A popular ice cream store is joining forces with local firefighters.
While Baskin-Robbins stores across the country will host a "31-Cent Scoop Night" event Wednesday, the Baskin-Robbins at 5663 Jonesboro Road, Lake City, will collaborate on the event, from 5 to 10 p.m., with the City of Morrow Fire Department, a Baskin-Robbins spokesperson said.
Patrons can purchase a 2.5-ounce ice cream scoop for 31 cents, and enjoy the company of their local firefighters at participating locations during the third annual nationwide event, according to Baskin-Robbins.
"It's nice to get out there to talk to them on a one-to-one basis, when there's not an emergency," said Mark Herendeen, chief of the City of Morrow Fire Department. "Kids just like it [interacting with firefighters], and it's a great opportunity to mix it up with citizens."
According to Herendeen, the firefighters will scoop ice cream for patrons, and bring a fire engine to the store.
Baskin-Robbins officials said "31 Cent Scoop Night" is a way to raise awareness of the services local firefighters provide to their community. Firefighters also have an opportunity to execute a fund-raiser for their departments with their collaborative local franchise.
"People like to see firefighters, and the kids love us ... it'll be our first time participating, and to me it's not about the money, it never was," said Herendeen.
The Lake City Baskin-Robbins location will have balloons, performances by local dance groups and face-painting during the event, explained Store Manager Angela Veal.
"They [Baskin-Robbins] did this to get the firefighters involved in the community," said Veal.
As part of the event, Baskin-Robbins will donate $100,000 to the National Volunteer Fire Council's National Junior Firefighter Program, the company said in a news release.
"It's going to help support 10 scholarships for the National Junior Firefighter program," said Kimberly Ettinger, director of communications for the NVFC.
Ettinger said Baskin-Robbins contacted the NVFC, a non-profit membership association representing the interests of volunteer fire, EMS and rescue services, last fall regarding the event, and the scholarships will assist the junior firefighters in attaining a higher education.
Ettinger said the NVFC contacted 30,000 fire departments across the nation, to alert them to the "31 Cent Scoop Night" event.
"Baskin-Robbins does this to acknowledge and recognize firefighters," said Ettinger. "This is a great way for the company [Baskin-Robbins] to benefit the fire service and the public."