Tippecanoe Lake CC set the record for the worlds longest ice cream dessert and in the process added three new member families to its roster.
Good club managers are always keeping their eyes and minds open to potential new ideas and activities that their members and guests can enjoy. Great ones also want to find ways to take proven and popular ideas and use them to gain special appeal, and recognition, for their properties.
That was the thought pattern last April of Paul N. Kornfeind, III, MCM, CCE, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer of Tippecanoe Lake Country Club (TLCC) in Leesburg, Ind., after he saw a CNN report on how a school in Bethlehem, Pa. had set a world record for creating the longest ice cream dessert (150 feet). Very cool idea, Kornfeind thought—fun, family-friendly and low-cost. Something that could also be done in a club setting—and while we’re at it, why don’t we do it on a world-class level.
Kornfeind then set a target date—August 14, when TLCC was planning for the fourth year of one of its most popular annual events, the Cardboard Boat Regatta—and a target achievement: The club would use the occasion to create its own record-breaking ice cream dessert.
To put the plan into motion, Kornfeind lined up a local party rental company as a sponsor, and arranged with the club’s distributor, Sysco Food Systems, to provide all dessert ingredients (including 50 gallons of ice cream) at cost. He found a local building supply firm that could provide a seamless, 200-foot eavesdrop to be used for assembling the dessert. Plans were made to stage the eavesdrop in the club’s driveway, supported by a series of eight-foot-long tables.
That left it to Executive Chef Matt Fry to write the recipe for filling the 200-foot gutter (which would be lined with plastic) with the proper ingredients. The biggest challenge was how, and when, to prepare the dessert’s cake base. Fry computed that he could produce 40 slices of 3-in. by 3-in. cake per sheet pan. He made plans to start making the needed cake, and also to “pre-ball” the ice cream, a couple of days in advance. The plan for assembling the creation also needed to recognize that the whipped cream would melt faster than the ice cream, Fry notes.
After TLCC’s Cardboard Boat Regatta was held on the lake on a picture-perfect summer day, the some 450 people in attendance moved up to the clubhouse for the big event. A team made up of 12 club members and staff, divided into four groups of three each, donned food-handling gloves and went to work. It took less than 20 minutes, Kornfeind says, to assemble a sundae that filled the entire 200-foot eavesdrop. An official from the Kosciusko County Department of Weights and Measures wasted little time to extend a tape measure and certify the record length, and then the sundae disappeared almost as quickly as it had been made. “We started with 400 spoons, and they were all gone!” reports Kornfeind.
Kornfeind also made sure to get plenty of local TV and newspaper coverage of the event and use it as an opportunity to tout all that TLCC has to offer. “We just wanted to do something that was fun, family-friendly and brought excitement, camaraderie and attention to Tippecanoe Lake Country Club,” he told one local station. “We’re a great club out here, and we just want to let you know we’re here. Come on by and enjoy some of the fun—we always have a good time.”
The publicity effort added the sweetest cherries of all to the top of TLCC’s record-breaking sundae; Kornfeind reports that three prospective member families that had been invited to the event confirmed their desire to join the next day. In addition, the coverage generated a brand-new and instant membership from a fourth family that decided to apply after hearing about the club’s “sundae to remember.”