DENVER — Hundreds of people enjoyed ice cream at Bonnie Brae Ice Cream the last week in May when Alpha Judy Simon, Colorado Alpha-1 support groups and many others celebrated “Get the Scoop on Alpha-1”.
It was the sixth year for the annual Alpha-1 awareness event that is also a fundraiser for the Alpha-1 Foundation’s research programs.
Simon and Bob Pailet, co-owners of Bonnie Brae, came up with the event when they wanted to do something for Alpha-1 research. Besides winning a lot of attention in Denver, their idea has now inspired two other “Get the Scoop on Alpha-1” events, one in Des Moines, Iowa and the other in Fairmont, Minnesota.
“The store and patio were packed almost all afternoon,” says Simon. “It’s a lot of work. It would be easier if I just made a contribution to the Foundation, but we build so much awareness this way.”
Simon was once the subject of a feature story on the front page of the Denver Post, which publicizes Get the Scoop on Alpha-1 in its Community Calendar every year.
She says local school groups often come to Get the Scoop as an outing to celebrate the last few weeks of the school year. And this year, Boy Scout Taylor Fittje, with two other Scouts and his grandfather, an Alpha, came to set up an Alpha-1 information booth as part of the festivities. It was part of Fittje’s Eagle Scout project.
As if to reward Simon for her good works, her ice cream store is now nationally famous:
Bonnie Brae made the national news pages of USA Today over the Memorial Day weekend when the newspaper did a story on the favorite ice creams of food writer Ellen Brown.
According to Brown, the country is in an ice cream revolution, with new flavors and an emphasis on natural ingredients. “As Americans have learned to appreciate the true craft of food, they’re
now looking for it in ice cream as well,” says Brown, the author of Scoop, a book of her recipes copying famous ice creams from 20 of the country’s top creameries — including Bonnie Brae.
“Everybody does chocolate and vanilla and coffee, but (Bonnie Brae does) things like apple pie ice cream and Grand Marnier Chocolate Chip,” Brown says.