Fancy a float?

On a hot summer's day, what is more refreshing than an ice-cold root beer float, complete with a spoon/straw and a paper cup? Just one thing when you can enjoy the treat guilt-free because you are doing it for a good cause.

For the past 20 years Kroger has partnered with Easter Seals to sell root beer floats and other goodies to raise money for the charity. "It's an ongoing mission for us to help Easter Seals raise money for all their programs," explained Cheryl McCormick, manager of community relations with the Kroger Company, Columbus Division. "They do such great work and offer services needed by the adults and children in the community."

The dates for the root beer float events vary from store to store, but they all take place from July 5 -19. "We cover three weekends," said McCormick, "and each store determines when and how their event will take place." And with all 126 central Ohio Kroger stores participating, the events get more creative every year. Besides the basics root beer floats, brown cows, pink cows and creamsicles some stores also will have cook-outs, games for kids, balloons, picnic displays, store samples or even an appearance from Kroger mascot Pepe the Penguin. "Everyone does something different, but they all try to do it outside, said McCormick. "We get volunteers from our stores, from the community, and from the families of Easter Seals clients."

So how does the money raised help Easter Seals? "The dollars raised fund our much-needed central Ohio programs and services such as speech, physical, occupational and autism programs," said Rob DuVall, director of marketing with Easter Seals Central and Southeast Ohio, Inc. "Because of the generosity of Kroger and our central Ohio community, thousands of children will learn to walk, talk and become independent members of our community."

And speaking of money, the way you purchase your ice cream float adds to the fun. When you check out, you buy a paper root beer float which has a bar code and is scanned at the register, said McCormick. "Kids love them they use them as currency to buy their floats."

Need another reason to indulge? All the money raised locally stays with the local Easter Seals office, said McCormick. "It's a simple way to donate directly to Easter Seals' families in need," added DuVall. "Kroger donates 100 percent of all dollars raised directly to Easter Seals. By donating, you not only get a tasty summer treat in a root beer float, but you are helping countless area kids get the therapy they need."

Look for the signs announcing the date and time of the event at your local Kroger store. Then bring your family and friends, relax and enjoy some ice cream floats. Remember, calories don't count when they are consumed for a good cause.

It's that time again! Check your local Kroger store for exact dates and times for the events in your neighborhood.

Who: Kroger and Easter Seals
What: Fundraiser for Easter Seals featuring root beer floats, brown cows, pink cows and creamsicles.
Where: All Ohio Kroger stores.
When: July 5 -19, 2009.
Why: All proceeds benefit your local Easter Seals.
Who else: Dr Pepper/7 Up , owner of A&W, donates all the sodas, cups, spoon/straws. The Velvet Ice Cream Company donates all the ice cream 100 percent of your donation goes directly to Easter Seals.
Why not enjoy: You, your family and friends get a refreshing drink to beat the heat; Easter Seals clients get services they need.