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The “I Pledge” Project

Stratton Leopold has set his sights on producing a national ice cream event to underscore the importance of patriotism among school children.  Leopold is recruiting fellow ice cream shop owners across America to take part in the “I Pledge” campaign at the national level.

“I Pledge” rewards children 12 and under for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance from memory—with a free ice cream cone. The campaign, launched by Leopold’s Ice Cream on a local level in Savannah last summer, received the highest award in 2010 from the National Dipper at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Convention.

“We couldn’t believe the enthusiasm this generated from kids and parents alike,” explains Stratton Leopold. “What a positive way to celebrate National Ice Cream month, which falls in July.”  In Leopold’s view, nothing is as American as kids and ice cream—so he jumped on the idea, originally suggested by Jan Macchi, a Leopold’s Ice Cream customer.

Leopold stated his only challenge is to get the word out to all independent ice cream stores.  He is actively reaching out to colleagues and inviting ice cream lovers nationwide to encourage their local ice cream shop to join the promotion. The national event is planned for July 1st, from 4:00-7:00 PM. Participating stores across America will be featured on the project’s web site: www.ipledgeforicecream.com

To take this to a national level, Leopold’s is sharing “I Pledge” promotional materials with ice cream shops across America at no charge. They will promote the event at the national level through press releases, Facebook, Twitter and with a YouTube page where ice cream lovers nationwide can upload videos of their family and friends saying the pledge of allegiance.

Stratton Leopold’s effort to take the campaign nationally has been supported by Visit Savannah. “Independent ice cream shops like Leopold’s Ice Cream create an important sense of community,” adds Joe Marinelli, President of the Savannah CVB. “The ‘I Pledge’ Campaign is a perfect example of the positive influence they can have with children and families.”