Ice cream social brings cheer to Robinwood

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Ice cream social brings cheer to Robinwood

Ice cream social brings cheer to Robinwood

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Carlton Carter, 16, sizes up the toppings for his vanilla ice cream.

He could choose from "gummies," cherries and various chocolate goodies. But he

goes for the chocolate, creating a whipped cream, chocolate chip and Reese's Pieces

sundae.

Carlton was one of dozens of young people who attended an end-of-the-school-year ice
cream social Thursday at the Robinwood Recreation Center in Annapolis. The event
featured free ice cream with a plethora of toppings.

"It's good," Carlton said. "It helps the kids that need support."

The event was sponsored by the Anne Arundel County National Pan Hellenic Council. The
group holds several events each year for public housing residents in Annapolis.

The council is a group of nine historically African-American sororities and fraternities.
Thursday's event was in the Robinwood community, which is part of the Housing
Authority of the City of Annapolis. The housing authority manages 790 public housing
units in the city.

Kids and their parents crammed into the recreation center Thursday and lined up for ice
cream. The room was loud, its small walls barely able to contain the children's excitement.
The ice cream was donated by the Glen Burnie Friendly's. The toppings were provided by
the council.

These events are an opportunity for the council to bring positivity to the community,
which typically is only featured in the news when something bad happens there, said Angie
McNeal, president of the council.
McNeal is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, which she proudly displayed on her pink
apron while she smiled and scooped ice cream into children's cups.

"We want to give them a role model," she said. "And to demonstrate that, truly, black lives
matter."

The ice cream social wasn't about giving out the treats after a lecture. McNeal and other volunteers
met with the kids, talked with the parents and happily passed out the treats.

It's about being a positive influence, she said, and the children seeing successful people.

That positive influence may be all the more important this month after a recent fatal shooting
in the Robinwood community. Kymici Brown, 17, died after Ryan Surgeon, 19, shot her, police said.
Surgeon told police that he accidentally shot her when "playing around" with a gun.

Surgeon faces a number of charges, including first- and second-degree murder, according to court records.

This community is more than just the tragic events that happen here, said Allan Griffin, the council's chair of
community activities and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.

Holding an Easter egg hunt, visiting Medieval Times and going to Six Flags are chances to connect to the children.

"The bottom line is we want to reward all children by providing them a safe environment," he said. "You can succeed
and you can do better."

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