Great weather for the annual Salem UCC ice cream social

Democrat photo / David A. Wilson
On the upper step of the Salem U.C.C. Church, during the annual Ice Cream Social, Ellen Martin is surrounded by younger relatives honoring her on her birthday.

Democrat photo / David A. Wilson On the upper step of the Salem U.C.C. Church, during the annual Ice Cream Social, Ellen Martin is surrounded by younger relatives honoring her on her birthday. Photo by David Wilson.

By DAVID A. WILSON

Democrat Staff

Although it was a bit warmer Saturday, Aug. 24, for the annual ice cream social of the Salem United Church of Christ, it wasn't all that hard to find a breeze.

The Salem Ice Cream Social consists of entertainment, food, cake and ice cream. It has been the big community event and major social event of the Salem congregation for many years. It is also the only real fundraising event of the church.

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Democrat photo / David A. Wilson The California Community Ensemble, directed by Phil Lewis, left, performs Saturday, Aug. 24, at the annual Salem U.C.C. Ice Cream Social.

The California Community Ensemble, directed by Phil Lewis, started its musical entertainment with the national anthem, as the crowd stood and faced a small flag held by Isabelle Rohrbach, daughter of Lisa and Mark. Several other pieces followed before the ensemble members joined the food line.

The event began at 4 p.m. and lasted through the evening. Although some arrived, took part in the cake walk and food, and left, many stayed to "visit" friends, neighbors and old school chums seldom seen.

One of those present for the food and the friends was Bill Maier, who said, "I think I started church here in the 1930's." He went on to talk about being confirmed at the California church.

As he prepared to leave the ice cream social, he said, "We had a good time and are full."

According to church members, the funds generated from sales of food, the bazaar, cakewalk and other activities go into the Sunday School Fund. The fund is used to provide gifts, food and donations of various kinds to be used where the members believe they are needed the most.

The present ice cream social is believed to have started more than 40 years ago to raise money for carpeting part of the sanctuary. The event has continued to the present day.

Although no attendance count has been taken, several hundred people attend each year, with a larger crowd nearly every year.

The congregation dates back to 1848 when it started in the German Salem settlement. The original log building still stands although a "new" church built in 1858 serves the congregation.

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