Nationwide Campaign Originated at Leopold’s Ice Cream in Savannah 11 Years Ago
(SAVANNAH, Ga.) Rewarding children 12 and under with a free scoop of ice cream for reciting the Pledge of Allegiance by memory, the I Pledge Project will launch during July in honor of National Ice Cream Month and Independence Day.
Now in its 11th year, I Pledge for Ice Cream events will be held in frozen dessert shops across the United States, with shop owners personalizing patriotic events to suit their local hometowns.
Stratton Leopold, Hollywood producer and owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream, dreamed of creating a national ice cream event to underscore the importance of patriotism among school children. Leopold’s is renowned for being a community-minded, family business, and it was actually a longtime customer and school teacher who approached Stratton and his wife Mary with the original idea for rewarding children with ice cream in exchange for reciting the pledge. Given that Independence Day and National Ice Cream Month are both celebrated in July, the Leopolds put the idea into action and became the architects of the I Pledge Project.
“Our Pledge reminds us that we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” said Stratton. “We are so excited to see the enthusiasm for this project grow stronger each year and we are hopeful this will be the year that communities around the country will help bring participation to all 50 states.”
The I Pledge Project has averaged annual participation of almost 200 frozen dessert shops nationwide over the last ten years.
In its first year, the I Pledge Project won the highest promotion of the year award from trade publication the National Dipper Magazine at the National Ice Cream Retailers Association Convention. Since then, the Leopolds have been spreading the word to fellow independent frozen dessert shops across the country.
The project has spread to almost 40 states and maintains an independent website, ipledgeforicecream.com, where users can find participating locations, more history on its Savannah origins, how frozen dessert shops can sign up to participate and much more.
The Leopold’s Ice Cream flagship location at 212 E. Broughton St. will hold the Savannah kickoff on Thursday, July 1, from 4–7 p.m. Patriotic youngsters can also participate in additional I Pledge Project days held on each Monday in July from 4–7 p.m. This year, those dates are July 5, 12, 19 and 26.
ABOUT LEOPOLD’S ICE CREAM
The history of Leopold’s Ice Cream is now more than a century old, and in many ways, it’s a storybook of the American Dream. Founded in Savannah, Ga, in 1919 by three immigrant brothers from Greece named George, Peter and Basil, the ice cream parlor continues to offer its original signature flavors. It has since expanded to include seasonal and several vegan ice cream flavors. Peter passed down the tradition of making super-premium, handmade ice cream to his youngest son, Stratton, who now owns and operates Leopold’s Ice Cream. Stratton is a renowned Hollywood film producer with nearly 60 film and television credits to his name and has also served as an Executive Vice President at Paramount Pictures. His commitment to arts and education is second only to his dedication to keeping the Leopold’s legacy authentic with unparalleled customer service and delicious ice cream. Frequently rated among the country’s best ice cream shops, the ice cream parlor has received countless national and international accolades. In addition to its Creamery location and stores located in the heart of downtown Savannah and the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, Leopold’s Ice Cream offers catering and nationwide shipping. For more information, visit leopoldsicecream.com or call 912-777-5340.