Museum ice cream social deemed a success

Keith Strange Staff Reporter

August 27, 2013

Hundreds of supporters turned out at the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History Monday afternoon for an event that has been a favorite for years: The annual Membership Hot Dog and Ice Cream Social.

Museum Director Matt Edwards called the event “one of those little perks we like to do for our members who support us so much.”

“It’s basically a fun, informal event that gives us a chance to say ‘thank you’ to those people who help us keep our doors open and patronize us throughout the year,” he said.

And with no formal program, the social was designed to be just that — social.

“This is a time for friendship and fellowship, and gives our members an opportunity to come out and check out what we’ve been doing throughout the year,” Edwards said.

For the first time this year, Edwards held the event in the meeting room on the third floor of the museum proper, rather than in the museum’s Oak Street annex.

“We thought it would give our members a chance to see that space in a little different light,” he said. “We’ve been developing revised policies for event rentals of the space, so we thought it would be a good idea to give our members a chance to see the space used in that capacity.”

While there, the hundred or so members on hand munched on hot dogs will all the trimmings, baked beans and a full ice cream sundae bar.

Edwards said the 200 hot dogs and six gallons of ice cream were provided through the generosity of donors who want to remain anonymous.

“We’ve been able to reach out to museum supporters in the business community and they came through big time,” he said. “That’s really helped us maintain our bottom line.”

He said he thinks the huge turnout for yesterday’s event is partly due to the timing at the end of the summer season.

“We used to do this early in the summer,” Edwards said as he overlooked the jovial crowd, “but for the past couple of years we’ve moved it to the tail end of summer.

“I don’t think we actually intended to hold it on the first day of school, but that’s how it turned out,” he said, laughing.

The event was open to all museum members, and even prospective members.

“We encouraged our members to bring friends and guests to the social as a kind of recruitment tool,” he said. “A lot of people in the community don’t realize the work we do in the community and this gives them a chance to see what we have going on.

“Hopefully, it may get them excited about the prospect of being a part of what we do here at the museum,” Edwards added.

Volunteer and museum member Richard Nealis said the museum has something for everyone.

“It’s important to the community,” he said. “People tend to take a museum for granted, but everyone I’ve ever told about it who ended up coming up here have been very impressed.”

Reach Keith Strange at or 719-1929.