Celebrate National Ice Cream Day today at the OC Fair

IMAG1354The OC Fair is the perfect place to celebrate National Ice Cream Day (July 16). From sundaes to sandwiches to unique flavors, there’s an amazing variety of ice cream options to help Fairgoers get their sweet fix.

For a few vendors, however, selling ice cream is about more than making customers happy – it’s about helping the community beyond the OC Fair.

Fabe’s Gelato, now in its ninth year at the Fair, has everything from pink champagne gelato, a s’mores milkshake, and a brand new gelato donut sandwich. The sweetest part: as a branch of Working to Give, Fabe’s donates half its profits to charity.

“I was thinking there has to be a better way to bring together nonprofit and for-profit businesses,” said Matthew Holguin, founder and CEO of Working to Give.

Working to Give started out as an MBA project for Holguin while he was studying at Azusa Pacific University in 2005. The company works under a 50/50 principle: 50 percent of profit goes back into the business, and the other 50 percent is given away to eight different charities.

With multiple businesses extending from gyms, churro stands in Downtown Disney, and fairs across California, the company has given $1 million to charities around the world.

Profits from Fabe’s OC Fair run will be spread to organizations such as World Vision, Teen Challenge and Samaritans First. Holguin hopes he can inspire not just Fairgoers, but his employees as well, who are mostly college students.

“You can reach the top of your ladder, the peak of your career, but realize you climbed the wrong ladder,” Holguin said. “So many kids tell me that after working under Working to Give, they get involved with other nonprofits. That’s what’s really rewarding to me – the giving is multiplying.”

IMG_0125ROSIES Popsicle Stand might look like part of the decor of the culinary exhibitions in the OC Promenade at the OC Fair, but don’t be mistaken. As a branch of ROSIES Foundation, the popsicle stand has a mission that’s not just about selling popsicles – it’s about employing people with diverse abilities.

“It’s our first year at the OC Fair and we’re super excited to be here,” said founder Lee Chernotsky. “This is the biggest stage we’ve ever had.”

The national average of unemployment for adults with disabilities is 80 percent. The Culver City-based organization aims to beat this statistic by creating jobs and opportunities for those with diverse abilities. Along with a bus that was flipped into an ADA accessible ice cream truck, ROSIES caters at different events, from weddings to block parties.

“This is like a dream come true for us,” Chernotsky said. “Being able to help people and give people an opportunity to be more successful and independent.”

Chernotsky doesn’t just teach his employees how to make ice cream. He also teaches employees about problem solving and other job-related skills. While employees work at the Culver City office, he encourages them to take initiative elsewhere.

Chernotsky also wants to highlight the passion of his employees. Maya Alves, who is currently working her first job ever at ROSIES Popsicle Stand, has a passion for art. Alves even helped design the outside of the flipped ice cream truck. Alves will take the skills she learned while working for ROSIES and put them into an apprenticeship with a local artist in Los Angeles.

Another employee, Naayin Akyempon, decided that ROSIES is his passion because he loves working with people.

“I’ve learned how to take initiative, speak up and be confident in myself,” Akyempon said.

Besides running a popsicle stand at the OC Fair, ROSIES has another big project: the #runthebus campaign. The foundation is looking to help gain more funds to continue providing jobs for its current and future employees.

“Seeing a child’s face light up when they try our foods and breaking a barrier when the child has a conversation with an employee is the most rewarding thing for me,” Chernotsky said.

Featured items at ROSIES include the strawberry mojito, strawberry mango and watermelon lime vegan bars, “The OC” gelato bars, and the Dough Boy Chiller – a dairy-free frozen yogurt vegan chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

ROSIES is available from noon to 5 p.m. You can help ROSIES by donating to their #RunTheBus campaign.

IMAG1331To really enjoy National Ice Cream Day, here are a few other cool treats to try at the 2017 OC Fair. Stroll the Fairgrounds to discover even more. Insider’s tip: You can even get ice cream on your funnel cake!

• Mini Donuts – Mini donut sundaes, ice cream cones, milkshakes and root beer floats

• Olde Tyme Ice Cream Bars – Lots of options • TJ’s Ice Cream – Waffle cones, dipped ice cream cones, Texas Drumsticks, milkshakes, malts, floats, frozen bananas and banana splits.

• Fried-A-Fair – Affogato ice cream cones, chocolate dipped cones, banana splits, fried sundaes, fried banana splits.

• Dippin’ Dots – Flavors include: banana split, birthday cake, bubble gum, caramel brownie, chocolate, cookie dough, cookies & cream, cotton candy, mint chocolate, strawberry, raspberry sorbet, vanilla, moose tracks. Yogurt Dot Flavor: strawberry shortcake. No sugar added: fudge.

• Texas Ice Cream & Donuts – Soft-serve cones, chocolate dipped cones with sprinkles or peanuts, milkshakes, sundaes, banana royal sundae, Big D (donut) Sundae, frozen bananas.

• Cones, Shakes & Malts – Hot fudge brownie sundae, strawberry shortcake sundae, banana split, waffle cone.

• Juicy’s – Funnel cake sundaes and soft-serve ice cream.

• Dole Whip Soft Serve – Pineapple-flavored soft serve.

• Crunchee’s Ice Cream – Chocolate dipped strawberry waffle cone sundae, the royal banana waffle cone sundae, waffle bowl sundaes, “The Works” waffle bowl sundae (hot fudge, caramel, Butterfinger, Reese’s, whipped cream, nuts and cherry), Dole pineapple whip, Cookies & Cream Dream, frozen bananas, ice cream cones (chocolate dipped and sprinkled options).