PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — While rich in calcium and vitamin D and just what the doctor ordered after a patient has had tonsils removed, it still would be a stretch to call ice cream medicinal. But the ice cream created by a local dairy has brought smiles to countless faces over its 74-year history, and officials at a Presque Isle hospital say they hope it will help them provide better care for area newborns.
Officials at The Aroostook Medical Center announced late last week they have teamed up with Houlton Farms Dairy, which has served customers its premium milk, ice cream, butter and other products since 1938, to market a product to commemorate TAMC’s 100th birthday. Proceeds from the sale of the commemorative custom ice cream dish will be directed to the most vulnerable newborns in The County.
During a brief gathering at Houlton Farm’s Presque Isle dairy bar on July 20, the dairy and the hospital announced the launch of Truly Aroostook Made ice Cream, or TAMiC. The special menu item consists of one scoop each of the farm’s signature vanilla, strawberry and blueberry ice creams served in either a waffle cone or dish. It is garnished with red, white and blue sprinkles and strawberry sauce.
The limited-time offering will be available throughout the month of August at the farm’s dairy bars in Presque Isle, Caribou and Houlton.
An order will cost $4 plus tax, with $1 from the sale going toward the purchase of a Giraffe Warmer, which will help premature babies at TAMC. Giraffe Warmers provide an uninterrupted heat source while allowing a caregiver or a team of caregivers complete access to and visibility of the newborn, making it much easier to perform procedures such as X-rays and surgery.
Houlton Farms Dairy also will match each dollar raised through the promotion to support the pediatric equipment purchase.
“This is a most worthwhile partnership as it is both for a great cause and is truly reflective of the best of what Houlton Farms Dairy has delivered to The County for nearly 75 years, and at the very core of the service that TAMC has provided for a century,” said Matthew Lincoln of Houlton Farms Dairy. “As TAMC celebrates [its] 100th birthday and we look ahead to our 75th anniversary next year, we thought this would be a great way to give back to The County community.”
Joining TAMC and Houlton Farms officials in announcing the new ice cream dish were four county youths who have a special connection to the medical center and the charitable organization Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The Presque Isle hospital, through its affiliation with Eastern Maine Healthcare System, is a Children’s Miracle Network facility. Funds raised through the ice cream promotion will be donated through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which will provide additional funding to TAMC for purchase of the Giraffe Warmer.
The four youths, Kylie Pelletier of Frenchville, Hadley McClean of Presque Isle, Aiva Richardson of Caribou and Miss Maine 2012 Molly Bouchard of Caribou, were the first to taste test the new ice cream dish.
Pelletier was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in late 2010 and this past April was named Maine’s 2012 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion Child. McClean was diagnosed in 2011 with a medulloblastoma, a fast-growing brain tumor, and Richardson was born on July 4 and was the 100th baby of the 100th year born at TAMC. Officials said that it was Richardson’s patriotic delivery date that inspired Houlton Farms and TAMC to select the red, white and blue ice cream flavors for the TAMiC offering.
Bouchard is helping to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals as part of the Miss America Organization’s national efforts to aid children’s hospitals in communities throughout the country.
Sylvia Getman, TAMC president and CEO, said the new ice cream dish is the perfect way to fete the hospital’s 100th birthday and showcase locally made products and businesses.
The ice cream dish goes on sale beginning Aug. 1.