The Owego V.F.W. Post 1371 has a long history of providing activities for youth throughout the year. One example is the upcoming Kid’s Picnic on Aug. 15. V.F.W. member David Bensley remembers the WWII veterans holding a picnic every summer for youth at Marvin Park. Eventually though, the Kid’s Picnic faded away.
The V.F.W. and Owego American Legion Post 401 revived the Kid’s Picnic approximately 12 years ago, Bensley said. Along with the annual Christmas party, free movies at Tioga Theater, and free bowling at Owego Bowl, Bensley said that veteran organizations in the Owego area do what they can for youth throughout the year.
This will be the first year that the Owego V.F.W. will offer school-aged youth free ice cream at Ice Cream Works! located at 14 George St. in Owego. Bensley was appreciative of Ice Cream Works! for partnering with the V.F.W.
“It’s great they’re doing this for the kids and for the V.F.W.,” Bensley said.
On July 4, any school-aged child will get one free small menu item between 3 and 7 p.m. at Ice Cream Works! located on George Street. The bonanza for youth is courtesy of the V.F.W. Post 1371, its Men’s and Ladies Auxiliaries, and the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 480.
“It’s a great tie-in with the Fourth,” Diane Franz said, “all the V.F.W. groups and the Vietnam Veterans are putting it on equally.”
Diane and husband Mike own Ice Cream Works!, and are looking forward to seeing more happy kids at their business. “Kids come here happy, and they leave here happy,” Franz said.
Mike Franz said Bensley approached him during the Fallen Firefighters Golf Tournament, with Bensley saying the V.F.W. would like to do something unique for youth.
“It’s in keeping with the V.F.W. tradition,” Mike Franz said, “and they’re committed to helping kids in the area. They asked what day would be good, and we said the Fourth of July.”
Ice Cream Works! is embarking on its third season, Franz stated, and is continuing to expand both its grill menu and ice cream offerings. A new soft serve machine should be up and running by the Fourth of July, Franz added. They’ll be able to offer soft serve ice cream in flavors and with patriotic colors like raspberry and berry twist.
“Every season it gets bigger and better,” Franz said, “we’ve got a pretty good menu for an ice cream store. We’re focused on what we do here.”