ATHENS BOROUGH – An ice cream stand in Athens Borough that opened last year to provide work experience for those at Penn-York Opportunities is ready to serve up cold treats once again.

During April’s meeting of the Athens Borough Council, officials announced that Sweet Sharlene’s was holding a “soft opening” on April 15, and would officially be open for the season starting May 1.

The stand, which sits along the Teaoga Square lot in the booth that the popular D&R Ice Cream once called home, is named in memory of Penn-York Opportunities founder Sharlene Bogutski.

In an interview last year, Bogutski’s daughter, Barbara Bean, said her mother would be “very, very, very happy” with the ice cream stand.

“We can have something that is inexpensive for people to enjoy treats but the flip side of that is it allows us to train our folks that we serve for employment,” Penn-York Opportunities Executive Director Gena Bond said while promoting the stand following its initial opening. “They get to learn customer service, they get to learn about the cash register, food service, all those kinds of things.”

The initial opening of Sweet Sharlene’s helped mark the agency’s 50th year of helping those with special needs become more independent.

For more information, visit Sweet Sharlene’s on Facebook.

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I am the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily and Sunday Review.