Plastic spoon in hand and, quite possibly, eyes bigger than his stomach, eight-year-old Collin Mazur got ready to tuck into his giant dessert.
“Look out best ice cream sundae ever, here I come,” declared the Simcoe youngster as he launched into several scoops of vanilla overflowing with toppings.
Collin and his mom, Carrie Mazur, were among the first visitors at the Lynn Valley Lions Club’s 21st annual Ice Cream Fest in Wellington Park on Sunday.
Just after 11 a.m., Mazur said it was too early for her to eat a heaping bowl of sweets but Collin couldn’t wait.
“He was so anxious to get here. He wanted to bring his own candy, too – for extra toppings.”
There was no need. The Lions were offering more than 30 options: jujubes, gummy bears, jelly tots, ginger snaps, mini chocolate chip cookies and gum balls among them. The club spends about $2,000 on sweet fixings.
It’s all about creating an ice cream work of art, said Lions member Bob Townsend.
“It’s like a Picasso or a Pollock. It might look like a splattered mess at first but it’s a masterpiece at the end,” he said.
“The kids love the do-it-yourself topping bar.”
The first Ice Cream Fest was in 1998, a year after the Lynn Valley Lions Club was established, when Good Humor, now Unilever Good Humor-Breyers on Union Street, approached the club about starting a fundraiser.
Since then, the company has been supplying all the festival’s ice cream for free.
“We expect to serve 4,000 to 5,000 sundaes over the weekend,” said Townsend.
For the first time this year, the club was also offering milkshakes.
All the money raised at the festival goes toward organizations supported by the club, including McMaster Children’s Hospital, Norfolk General Hospital, various children’s camps and other local needs that arise throughout the year, said Townsend.
Ice Cream Fest is one of a trio of major fundraisers organized by the Lions Club, along with a Good Friday fish fry and Journey for Sight held in June.
The weekend festival also included vendors, amusement rides, a food truck and pony rides.
Even though the Lynn Valley Lions has just 18 members, more than 40 people turned up to volunteer at Ice Cream Fest.
“Everybody loves to come and help,” said Townsend. “It’s a lot of fun.”