Andrew Dys

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – begun in York County – starts early this year

Lucy Rosenberg, 8, her mother, Julie, and staff prepare to give second graders at Tega Cay Elementary School a treat on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Lucy’s father, Bruce Rosenberg, who died from cancer three years ago, started an annual March 21 Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day that has gone worldwide.
Lucy Rosenberg, 8, her mother, Julie, and staff prepare to give second graders at Tega Cay Elementary School a treat on Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. Lucy’s father, Bruce Rosenberg, who died from cancer three years ago, started an annual March 21 Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day that has gone worldwide. Andrew Dys

Across the globe on March 21 each year, sheiks and sultans, kids and grannies, and tens of thousands of others have screamed out that there will be no porridge. They have stomped their feet and grabbed their spoons and told doctors and other surly adults to get lost.

No diets, no cereal, no eggs, no grits.

Because March 21 is Ice Cream for Breakfast Day – and it started right here in York County four years ago with Bruce Rosenberg, a man dying of cancer with a smile on his face. While it’s not an official holiday, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day has its own Facebook page: facebook.com/events/966446630033255/ – which is far better than any presidential order or congressional declaration.

No bickering, no CNN or FOX News or MSNBC hacks arguing over it.

Just love. Love and fat. Tens of thousands of people who speak different languages and have different color skin and worship in different religions, need no edict to love. Ice cream topped with joy is its own prayer.

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day started in a Rock Hill neighborhood where Rosenberg – despite his Jewish heritage – put up thousands of Christmas lights with a huge smile on his face so that all could see that love conquers all.

Rosenberg died three years ago this week. But on March 21, 2011 – the day he was diagnosed with cancer – Rosenberg decided that everyone should live a little more and worry a little less – and eat ice cream for breakfast to do just that.

Today, it continues with an 8-year-old girl – wearing blue shoes, a blue shirt, some blue in her hair, because her father loved blue and loved ice cream and loved her. Lucy Rosenberg is the younger of two daughters of Bruce and Julie Rosenberg and a second-grader at Tega Cay Elementary School.

Since there is no school on March 21 this year, Lucy started early Friday.

Nobody complained.

Lucy and her mother shared ice cream with her classmates in Mrs. Steele’s classroom. Ice cream beats a spelling test any day.

“Ice Cream Day is in China!” Lucy proclaimed, because it is true. What her father started is in China, and Russia and Australia.

“And Tega Cay,” chuckled Mom.

Lucy and her mom shared with the class how Lucy’s father got sick and died, and the kids were sad for a minute. Lucy held up a picture of her father holding her as a toddler. But they also explained how Lucy’s father wanted every kid – and every kid at heart – to forget doctors and lawyers, to take one day and eat the fattiest, sweetest, drippiest ice cream.

For breakfast.

The sadness was over in a flash. All the kids ate, but Lucy’s tablemates in class got the first pick.

“Ice cream should be for breakfast every day,” said the obviously brilliant Logan Hunt, 8.

Logan got blue sprinkles and whipped cream. There were choices of bubble gum, birthday cake, chocolate and vanilla.

Nobody wanted vanilla.

Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is too special for vanilla. Sophia White and Gavin Jones agreed. They also agreed that Lima Beans for Breakfast Day stinks.

“No way,” said Sophia.

The Herald and its website, heraldonline.com, and its Facebook page, have proudly helped the Rosenbergs spread the joy worldwide in the past four years. In a news business filled with murders and mayhem, broken hearts and broken dreams, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day is sprinkles and hot fudge.

Bruce Rosenberg was an online games player and social media hound, so his message spread that way, too. People in Dubai and Denver eat ice cream for breakfast on March 21 every year. Bruce Rosenberg united them all.

And through his daughters – 17-year-old Ella and 8-year-old Lucy – his call to eat ice cream and defy doctors and nutritionists will continue to prosper.

“My dad was the coolest,” Lucy said.

She sure is right.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065 •  adys@heraldonline.com

Having ice cream for breakfast?

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