OHSAA umpire and free ice cream cones

GREENVILLE – Greenville’s Dave McCartney, an OHSAA baseball umpire along with John Baumgardner and Dave Bush make up the local Dairy King family and continue to search for ways to encourage the youth of our communities.

The three partners came up with the idea of ‘Fifty Cent Ice Cream Cone Thursday’ which quickly turned into ‘Free Ice Cream Cone Thursday’ with several local businesses jumping on board.

PHOTO CAPTION: OHSAA high school umpire, Dave McCartney makes a call at home plate in past Greenville High School baseball win. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

“My partners and I wanted to do something nice,” McCartney said. “With stay at home schooling, social distancing and the stay at home order we wanted to do something to try and reward the kids and families so we started a 50-cent ice-cream cone day two weeks ago.”

“We weren’t sure how it would go but it was really successful,” continued McCartney. “We sold 240 ice-cream cones the first day. Our lobby is closed so all the cars came through the drive thru. The kids don’t have to get out of the car, nobody has to get out of their car, they just come and get an ice cream cone.”

Following the first Thursday, C&T Rental of Greenville called and inquired about sponsoring a Thursday.

Chad Denniston from C&T Rental called and said I would like to buy 300 cones,” noted McCartney. “We were just floored that somebody would be willing to do that out of the blue. He came down that night and paid for the ice-cream cones so obviously instead of 50-cent cones, we had FREE Cone Day.”

“We announced it on our Facebook page. We did 250 free ice-cream cones last Thursday. We want the kids to work hard, it’s new to stay at home and do your schoolwork, a lot of the parents aren’t familiar with teaching so it’s new to everybody.”

More Free Ice Cream Cone Thursdays are scheduled thanks to Club 7 Sports and Treaty City Automotive according to McCarney.

“By the end of Thursday I had another business call me and ask if they could donate and then about 10 minutes later I had another business call and ask if they could donate as well,” McCartney stated. “This Thursday, Free Cone Day will be sponsored by Treaty City Automotive located right behind us. Owner, Art McRill, a really good guy, does great automotive work. He wants to sponsor one and then Club 7 Sports owner, Aaron Kruckeberg will sponsor the following Thursday. We are just overwhelmed with the generosity from this community to see something grow like it has.”

The Dairy King family is very appreciative of the local business that have stepped up during these uncharted times.

“I have never used C&T Rental before but I am going to now,” McCartney stated. “If you have a service or a product that one of these businesses provide – once things get back to normal I highly suggest let’s get to their shops and their places of business and help them out as well.”

McCartney, the umpire took time to talk spring sports or the lack thereof due to the Coronavirus.

“I had a regional semi-final last year in Mason, Ohio,” said McCartney. “One of the teams was Chaminade Julienne who went on to win the D-II state championship for their second straight year.”

“It’s tough,” McCartney said of the current spring sports season. “I did one scrimmage. I had Versailles and Bradford. It was a beautiful day and it was great to be on the ballfield.”

“A lot of us umpires work the game because we still want to be associated with the game, we want to be a part of it – and it’s hard. This is my therapy to be on a ball diamond molding young men and watching young men who are going to be our future. It’s tough right now for a lot of us, all of us umpires. We want what is best for the kids but we also want to be on a baseball field somewhere.”

Much of the nation has been effected with the loss of income with the Coranavirus and has touched OHSAA officials as well.

“A good set of equipment and uniforms which I buy about every two to three years you will have upwards of $1,200 with chest protector and new helmet, a mask and shoes,” noted McCartney. “I had around 48 games on my spring schedule so to lose 48 games it is quite a bit of income. There are some guys and ladies that do count on that, so I definitely feel for them.”

On the bright side, McCartney hopes the time athletes, parents and fans are away from the games they will earn a new respect for the game, coaches, athletic directors and game officials.

“I hope it does, but being an official I’ve seen little tiny this escalate into terrible moments,” McCartney said. “I hope when we come out of this people can just appreciate going to the ballpark and watching a baseball game, any game.”

“I don’t think people understand, as an official nobody goes out there to purposely make a bad call. We are all human. I’ve always looked at it this way – I don’t think there is anybody that works or does a certain job that has never made a mistake. We’re all humans, we make mistakes. I’ve always said that baseball officials or any sporting officials are the only ones that are supposed to be perfect every time – it’s not possible so I hope when we get back people can just go and enjoy the time together watching a game.”

The Dairy King family hopes to see many drive up for ‘Free Ice Cream Cone Thursday’ including all eight Darke County schools.

“The older people that came through the drive through and got a free ice-cream cone – the smile on their face was really heartwarming to see,” said McCartney. “It’s really nice to see the smiles you put on their face, it doesn’t matter your age.”

“If you want a free ice-cream cone on Thursday, just come down. You will sit in line but it’s worth it,” concluded McCartney. “We have really good ice-cream so it’s really worth it.”

PHOTO CAPTION: The Dairy King’s Dave McCartney, businessman and OHSAA umpire. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

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