The 23rd edition of the Purity Miss Martha’s Ice Cream Crankin’ Contest is set to cool off participants and the public on Sunday, Aug. 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church.

The homemade ice cream contest benefits Martha O’Bryan Center, a nonprofit organization which provides integrated services to families in the James A. Cayce Homes and surrounding neighborhoods. Children under two get in free; admission for children between the ages of two and five is $5, ages six and up enter for $8.

“Miss Martha’s Crankin’ Contest is a day when the community comes out to connect and enjoy a summer afternoon by eating and making homemade ice cream, all for a great cause,” said Tim Tracy, vice president of ice cream sales for Nashville-based Purity Dairies. “Purity is delighted to be a major part of this unique summer event.”

The old fashioned Sunday social began in 1985 as a way to increase public awareness of Martha O’Bryan Center and to raise funds to support its programs. Through aiding in education, work-preparedness and guidance, the center helps the residents of Nashville's oldest and largest public housing development.  

“We provide resources that help whole families make choices that can lead them out of poverty,” said Marsha Edwards, the center’s president and CEO.  “Work and education help to transform lives. Our goal is to provide inspiration and guidance to those seeking greater well-being and self-sufficiency.”

Purity presents awards for top recipes in the categories of chocolate base, vanilla base, and “other.”  Finalists compete for the prize of the day: possibly becoming a Purity flavor.  Currently, three Purity products are past winners, with the most recent being 2007’s Mango Madness, which hit shelves in March of this year.

“Every year, we hear the same thing – ‘this is an ice cream lover’s dream,’ ” Tracy said. “The Purity family has a lot of fun with the contest. We take the whole product into consideration, from flavor and texture to name and “romance copy,” which is the ice cream world’s phrase for the story behind the flavor.”

New to the festivities this year, attendees can enter to win a drawing for $500 worth of free gas. In addition, anyone who purchases a ticket in advance, by going to the Martha O'Bryan Web site, will receive a free pint of Purity Ice Cream.

The event will feature live music, including Danny Salazar and Trova Urbana, The Naturals, Bone Therapy, Mark Lippard of Sure-Fire Entertainment and Melissa Britt, Bob Clement and The McLaughlins of Harpeth Presbyterian.

“Last year was our most successful Crankin’ to date, bringing in the most money we have raised in the event’s 23-year history,” Edwards said. “Our goal is to surpass that milestone and make 2008 our best year yet.”

First Presbyterian Church is located at 4815 Franklin Road in Nashville. For more information, call 615-254-1791 or visit

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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