Western Carolina University’s Center for Service Learning and Greek life organizations are teaming up with Jack the Dipper, a Sylva ice cream shop, in an effort to raise more than $1,500 for the Fontana Regional Library’s Reading Rover bookmobile Saturday, Nov. 2.
In addition to donating a portion of its revenues from sales on Nov. 2 to the reading program, Jack the Dipper will host its inaugural ice cream and waffle cone eating contest that pits members of WCU fraternities and sororities against one another. The event will be held from 6 until 7 p.m. at the shop, located at 170 E. Sylva Circle.
Dana Smith, co-owner of Jack the Dipper, said the event to benefit the Reading Rover bookmobile is the latest example of his business and others in the community partnering with Western Carolina on service and fundraising projects.
“We are committed to improving our community through fundraising for local causes such as Reading Rover. WCU is always there to help and we are very happy to have them on board,” Smith said. “Children and adolescent programs in Jackson and Swain counties are near and dear to our hearts here at Jack the Dipper. We are always willing to help improve our community.”
The university’s Center for Service Learning is asking that each Greek life organization send one competitor to the event and as many spectators as possible, said Lane Perry, director of service learning at WCU. “All proceeds from the event will be directly donated to Smart Start for the Reading Rover program. We are looking to raise at least $1,000 from the contest alone,” Perry said.
Fraternities and sororities can nominate up to two competitors per organization for the contest, although the total number of competitors will be limited to 30, Perry said.
Entries should be submitted by Friday, Oct. 18. Entry cost is $50 per competitor. There is no admission charge for spectators and supporters. Entry fees are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, to the Center for Service Learning, located in Room 273 of the Belk Building at WCU. Checks should be made payable to Jack the Dipper. Entrants also may pay in cash on the day of the event. Competitors will receive receipts for the entry fee/donation.
Competitors are eligible to earn five points for the Lily Community Engagement Award, developed by the Center for Service Learning to encourage and reward students who participate in a wide range of WCU community engagement opportunities.
Plaques will be awarded to the Greek male and female champions, Perry said. “Oh, yes, and there are bragging rights and the knowledge that you brought joy, through reading, to a number of children throughout Western North Carolina,” he said. “Talk about sweetness.”
The Reading Rover is part of the Fontana Regional Library system, which serves Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. Smart Start (Region A Partnership For Children) funds about 50 percent of the Reading Rover program, and the library staff runs the program, which serves 28 child care centers in the service area. The Rover brings story-time programs and library materials to the door of the child care centers, providing early literacy experiences that contribute to the development of pre-reading and school readiness skills.