By Alexa Kelly
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a super sweet sixteen this fourth of July weekend. Families can enjoy unlimited frozen treats at Penn’s Landing on July 4th through 6th to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
The event name is a mouthful: The Joshua Kahan Fund 16th Annual Super Scooper All-You-Can-Eat Ice Cream Festival. For a $7 donation, guests access a tent of desserts donated by companies like Philadelphia Water Ice, Edy’s, and Häagen-Dazs.
Jeff Kahan, president of the Joshua Kahan Fund, said he looks forward to the ice cream festival’s sixteenth summer. “My favorite part of the event is watching all the people and the smiles that get on kids’ faces and parents’ faces by eating the ice cream,” he said, “because I know that while they’re having fun and they’re smiling, we’re able to raise the money to help other kids smile.”
Over 250 volunteers will have their hands full. Expected crowds of 20,000 people will have more than 30 types of ice cream and water ice to choose from over the three day party.
The event runs from noon until 6pm each day. Guests can also stop by Saturday night from 6pm to 9pm, so they can stock up on sugar before the Penn’s Landing fireworks.
The ice cream festival supports both long-term cancer research and short-term smiles, according to Kahan. His organization funds research at CHOP to end childhood leukemia.
Kahan’s group also boosts patients’ morale with its “Smiles” program. With toys, Sesame Street characters, and even a prom, the Joshua Kahan Fund brings joy to Children’s Hospital patients and their families.
It’s all in memory of Josh, Kahan’s son, who passed away from leukemia 17 years ago when he was three years old.
“Josh had a smile, and I can never forget that smile, and I remember how that smile helped me get through what I was going through,” Kahan said. “We do anything to help children and their families smile.”
Josh loved all flavors of ice cream. “One of my favorite pictures is Josh eating an ice cream cone, and the ice cream all over his face,” Kahan said. For Kahan, the annual festival gives him a way to remember his son that is “as simple as eating ice cream.”
Kahan said he appreciates the support he has received from friends, family and companies over the years. Corporate sponsors of the ice cream festival include regional staples like CBS3, the Phillies, and Wawa. “Not only do the companies themselves donate the product, but the people involved in the companies give up their own personal time,” Kahan said. “Here it is, July 4th weekend, where they could be on the beach or be in the mountains, or they could be somewhere else, they give up their time to come and help us, and that’s one of the most heartwarming things.”
The festival is personally touching in other ways for Kahan. “When I see the kids eat the ice cream, quite frankly, and they’re smiling, it helps me remember Josh,” he said.
You can learn more about the ice cream festival and the Joshua Kahan Fund at the Fund’s website.
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