One hundred volunteers gathered at Westwood United Methodist Church on a warm August afternoon to build Cincinnati’s Longest Ice Cream Sundae with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, cherries and sprinkles. It took a year of Sundays to create this special sundae.
In 2018, Jack Crego, a fifth-grade student, developed the idea as a See All The People project at Westwood UMC. Every ministry group and individual at the church was challenged to share ideas that would reach people within the community and connect them into the life of the church. After presenting his idea to the church - in writing and with a video presentation - Jack was awarded a $1,000 grant for his delicious dream. The event was funded by a mini grant inspired by the Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church’s #SeeAllThePeople project.
Through the hard work of Jack and the Ice Cream Brigade team, the Kroger corporation donated 100 gallons of ice cream and toppings while Home Depot gave rain gutters to build the 715-foot ice cream sundae. Cincinnati’s Longest Sunday was built and eaten during Westwood Works’ Second Saturday Splash, a neighborhood block party.
The ice cream sundae wrapped around the church stretching 1.5 city blocks. More than 300 people came to the church and enjoyed the frozen treat. The fire departments offered their support to the effort, not only enjoying some ice cream, but by washing out the rain gutters after the block party ended. The rain gutters were then donated to Habitat for Humanity, an organization dedicated to helping build affordable homes.
This event was one of three winning projects in the #SeeAllThePeople contest. “Through these kinds of events, we hope to build relationships with our neighbors and get to know people better. Tell them about our church and if they don’t know Jesus, that they will come to know Him through the ministries of our church,” said Sarah Beach, Outreach Ministries Team Leader.
As for Jack, he doesn’t even like ice cream sundaes. “My favorite kind of ice cream is vanilla. Just plain vanilla with nothing else,” he said.