Free Ice Cream!! (Got your attention?!)

by Melissa Brunner

Most of you know how I feel about ice cream, so when I was asked to help plan an event with ice cream as the central attraction, I was all for it!

You're invited to attend a free ice cream social from 11 am to 1 pm Thursday, July 14th at the Gage Park Ampitheatre. It's to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Easter Seals Capper Foundation. The date and the theme is significant because it recognizes the organization's founder, Sen. Arthur Capper.

Sen. Capper was a publisher by trade (he's the father of the Topeka Capital Journal and, also, WIBW-TV and Radio). As the story goes, Sen. Capper joined with other businessmen to send a car loaded with toys and candy each Christmas morning to give to children who Santa might have overlooked. One Christmas, the man in charge of the delivery related to Sen. Capper how sad he felt at seeing children with disabilities out-distanced by able-bodied children in the race to see what Santa brought. In the mind of Sen. Capper, this race to meet Santa Claus symbolized the race of life. Without help, these little ones might always be out-distanced in their efforts to reach life’s goal. And so, the Capper Foundation was born - helping children with disabilities realize their potential.

So why ice cream? Well, it seems Sen. Capper loved a big party. On his birthday, he'd invite the entire community for an ice cream social to celebrate. In a nod to history, Easter Seals Capper Foundation will celebrate its 90th year with a free ice cream social on Sen. Capper's birthday, July 14th.

We hope you make plans to join the celebration! In addition to free ice cream (thanks, Blue Bell!), there will also be free children activities like face painting, balloon animals and coloring sheets. Brendan Wiley has even promised to bring over some friends from the Topeka Zoo! Just before 11:30 am, we'll have a short program with remarks from Gov. Sam Brownback and special guest former Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker. Sen. Capper also will be there, in the form of a special work of art you have to see to believe!

See you Thursday at Gage Park!


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