Gabriella’s Annual Scoop Night has morphed from cute fundraiser to block party status.
Indeed, some 500 people showed up to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream in West Hartford center Thursday to celebrate the birthday of Gabriella Giordano, who was born on Aug. 28, 2003, and to donate to a great cause.
Some $5,000 was raised this year at the fifth-annual event for the Connecticut Children’s Hospital’s Division of Cardiology, which is building a new cardiovascular care center.
Gabriella’s story is well-known - she was born with Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), essentially a hole in her heart.
Surgery to correct it at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in January 2007 was successful; Gabriella subsequently asked to have her 6th birthday party at Ben & Jerry’s in West Hartford Center. The owners told Gabriella and her parents, Adria and David, that they could have a “Scoop Night,” during which they would essentially fill in for fun.
The rest, as they say, is history. Scoop Night has turned into a huge event/fundraiser, with face painting, raffles, door prizes, a band (FATGRIP) and Rocky the Rock Cat all part of the action.
Oh, and the ice cream. Don’t forget the ice cream. The celebrity scoopers - including Mayor Scott Slifka, Ronni Newton, WFSB Reporter Susan Raff and Norfeldt teachers Joan Greenfield and Kathy Sweetland - worked at a feverish pace to keep up with the stream of customers.
“This is a community-wide event,” Adria Giordano said. “It’s a fabulous turnout. We are so blessed to live a community that has wrapped its arms around Gabriella and our family.”
It’s something that is unsurprising to Slifka.
“No one can say ‘No’ to Adria and no one can say ‘No’ to Gabriella,” Slifka said. “This is a quintessential West Hartford event. One family didn’t take for granted what they got and, not surprisingly in this town, [the Giordano family] got a huge response that has gotten even bigger as the years have gone by.”
This year, the Giordanos have set up a link for people to donate. To do so, click here.