Frozen Dessert Shops Across America Join the "I Pledge Project to Reward Youngsters" During National Ice Cream Month in July
Published: July 17, 2021
Rewarding children 12 and under with a free scoop of ice cream for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by memory, the I Pledge Project launched this month.
Now in its 11th year, I Pledge for Ice Cream events will be held in frozen dessert shops across the United States, with shop owners personalizing patriotic events to suit their local hometowns.
Stratton Leopold, Hollywood producer and owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream, dreamed of creating a national ice cream event to underscore the importance of patriotism among school children. Leopold’s is renowned for being a community-minded, family business, and it was actually a longtime customer and school teacher who approached Stratton and his wife Mary with the original idea for rewarding children with ice cream in exchange for reciting the pledge. Given that Independence Day and National Ice Cream Month are both celebrated in July, the Leopolds put the idea into action and became the architects of the I Pledge Project.
In Leopolds’ view, nothing is as American as kids and ice cream. This YouTube video represents everything that they hope to convey with this project:ARVE Error: src mismatch
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“Our Pledge reminds us that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” says Stratton. “We are so excited to see the enthusiasm for this project grow stronger each year and we are hopeful this will be the year that communities around the country will help bring participation to all 50 states.”
The I Pledge Project has averaged annual participation of almost 200 frozen dessert shops nationwide over the last ten years.
In its first year, the I Pledge Project won the highest promotion of the year award from trade publication the National Dipper Magazine at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Convention. Since then, the Leopolds have been spreading the word to fellow independent frozen dessert shops across the country.
The project has spread to almost 40 states and maintains an independent website, ipledgeforicecream.com, where users can find participating locations, more history on its Savannah origins, how frozen dessert shops can sign up to participate, and much more.
The Leopold’s Ice Cream flagship location at 212 E. Broughton St. held the Savannah kickoff earlier this year. But patriotic youngsters can also participate in additional I Pledge Project days held on each Monday in July from 4–7 p.m., July 19 and 26.