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Benefit Dinner/Ice Cream Social
Hi Ellen,
Myself and another EMT from our Volunteer Fire Department are attempting to plan a benefit for a local girl who was recently in a serious car accident but is on the road to recovery.

We are thinking of having an Ice Cream Social/Dinner at the local park, but could really use some tips.

The fundraisers for the Fire Dept. in the past have brought in approx 300 people. We are thinking we should plan for 400?

Our plan/thoughts were to serve:
Shredded chicken and/or pulled pork sandwiches
Potato chips
Side salad?
(should we have potato salad or baked beans?)

Iced tea and/or lemonade?

Chocolate and Vanilla Ice cream with toppings.

We have several people in the community that would probably be willing to make fruit pies or cookies/brownies to go with ice cream

or would just regular toppings be better?

Any suggestions for ice cream toppings?

How much Ice Cream do we need?

How much meat, etc. do we need and from your experience should we have more or less options as far as food goes?

Are we being too ambitious?

Our tentative date is Sat. August 7th.
Does 4-8 sound like a reasonable serving time?

Any tips/advice you can give us would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks so much for your time!

Ariel, the ice cream part is completely covered in the sundae bar article. You might consider renting a soft serve machine instead of scooping- that is a LOT of ice cream to scoop.

Shredded chicken and/or pulled pork sandwiches- chicken is less expensive and about as popular
Potato chips- OK
Side salad?- slaw keeps better, can be made ahead. If you have potato or pasta salad, you can skip the chips. Pasta is probably easier.
(should we have potato salad or baked beans?)
Baked beans are easy and cheap; it depends on what you want to charge for the plates. If yu are doing dinner and dessert together, you are getting up there in the per person charge; I would offer plate only, ice cream only and combo options.
Can't help on the numbers don't know your community or what competing events might be going on...

Iced tea and/or lemonade? Yes, see beverage planning page
Coffee? Yes, dinner level.

Thanks so much that helps a lot!