4,000 free scoops later, Ben & Jerry's works wonders

? Ben & Jerry's raised money for Wonder Works the old fashioned way. One scoop at a time.

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By JOHN YOO

Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream made friends and influenced people last week as the new Downtown Oak Park business gave away nearly 4,000 scoops and raised nearly $1,000 for Oak Park's Wonder Works Children's Museum.

And because the store matched the cash donations made by those receiving the complimentary cones, Wonder Works will benefit to the tune of nearly $2,000.

"I was there when the doors opened at noon," said Elizabeth Smith, chair of the museum, 6445 W. North Ave. "The line was unbelievable. My arms were sore the next day from all the scooping."

Brian Wills, a store employee, agreed. "It was a very busy day," he said.

Also joining in the fun at the store at 1025 Lake St., was Fox 32 news anchor Robin Robinson.

Geri Grant, a regular patron of Ben & Jerry's, said people could be seen holding scoops of Ben & Jerry's ice cream across downtown all day.

"Chocolate fudge was definitely their favorite," said Jasmine Evans, an employee at the store. 

She was also one of the employees who helped scoop ice cream last week.

The funds will be used for the grand opening of the museum's market exhibit on April 29.

The market exhibit is an educational exhibit which will simulate numerous food processing procedures, such as making apple juice, to teach children about the origins of everyday foods.

Smith said that she is thankful for all the support the museum receives from the business community of Oak Park.

"They make it possible for us to thrive. When they get behind us, the rest of the community hears about us and supports us," she said.

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