“We raised $2,500 and we’re still counting,” said Mark Arnold of Simsbury, who co-owns the store with his wife, Lisa. “We already have reservations for spots at next year’s event being placed. This is what we love to do!"
A total of 44 vendors participated in the July 28 event by setting up booths with information and giveaways. In addition to neighboring businesses from Avon Marketplace, Simsbury Commons, Rte. 44 and other parts of the Farmington Valley, participants came from Glastonbury and Bloomfield, towns where the Arnolds own their second and third TCBY stores.
“Mark is a great community person and I wanted to support him,” said Glastonbury photographic artist Lynn Damon, who planned to donate $100 to the campaign if someone booked a session worth $200 or more.
“He does so much for our chamber as an ambassador,” said Heather Turner, marketing and communications manager for the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce.
“This is an awesome event and giving back is so rewarding,” said Renee Gallinoto of Avon Health Center, a business that sold water bottles and cookies for the MDA. “This gives us great exposure, too. We hope that when the time comes to find a place for a loved one, people will remember us.”
“We’re a customer of TCBY and Mark invited us,” said Kim Morgan of The Nail Lounge in Avon.
“This event is a great idea,” said Dotti Doormann, program director at Jenny Craig in Simsbury.
West Hartford was also represented. Leslie Ryan of Ridgewood Designs said, “It’s great to help out and support the cause.”
Rotary Club of West Hartford’s Cindy Lang, a professional photographer, took pictures of children for Amber Alert, which the non-profit did in collaboration with Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Co.
“Amber Alert is one way to protect your family; insurance is another,” said Christopher Conway of Mass Mutual Financial Group/ Charter Oak Insurance and Financial Services Co. in Farmington.
Also at the event were firefighters from the Avon Volunteer Fire Department and the Simsbury Fire Company, along with their fire trucks.
In addition, members of the Valley Collector Car Club were present, along with a display of cars and information about their Teddy Bears for Tears program, which provides stuffed animals for children in traumatic situations. The club collects bears for emergency responders in Avon, Canton, East Granby, Granby and Simsbury.
Students from PlayStrong Group LLC in Simsbury demonstrated their ACROfitness routines throughout the afternoon, and a dance was filmed for submission to the show “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Free food samplings were provided by representatives of Bertucci’s, BurgerFi, Chili’s, COSI, Lisa’s Luna Pizza, and The Meat House, who also conducted a hot dog eating contest.
That competition was won by the same teen who took first place in the TCBY frozen yogurt eating contest – Ross Flaxman, a rising sophomore at Avon High School and a member of the AHS UberBots team.
Another highlight of the event was when a crowd gathered to watch Jamie “The Bear” McDonald of Granby, a competitive eater who has won titles nationwide, consume two gallons of TCBY vanilla yogurt in 10 minutes, 43 seconds.
The Arnolds have made it their mission to be involved in the communities they serve. In addition to the MDA fundraiser, they have raised money for Sandy Hook Promise and for Crohn’s disease. In Avon, they help a local school and the library promote reading by offering yogurt coupons to students who meet the challenge.
For more information, visit www.tcby.com/avonmarketplace or call 860-658-4520.