Socially Savvy: A Society Mouse at the Governor’s Mansion


A light rain was falling as families with children arrived at the towering wrought-iron gates of 1006 Summit Avenue for Governor Mark Dayton and the 1006 Summit Avenue Society’s Children’s Ice Cream Social.

Kathy Buggy, 1006 Summit Avenue Society President, and Mary Lacey, Event-organizer, greeted guests at the door with a charming mouse (or possibly a four-foot child in costume) named Herb at her side. A recently recognized resident of the house, Herb was emcee of the party, held in honor of the new book The Governor’s Mouse, detailing Herb’s life within the stately walls. The book, written by Kristin Parrish and illustrated by Kristen Sevig, takes readers on a mouse-sized tour of the Irvine Mansion.

(From left) 1006 Society Committee-person Adrien Mega, 1006 Society President Kathy Buggy, Governor Mark Dayton, and 1006 Society committee-person Brooke Voss; The MN Governor’s Residence. Photos Courtesy of The MN Governor’s Residence

The guests filed through the receiving line in the oak-paneled foyer. A volunteer perched on the third step of the grand main staircase, where, if you leaned in, you could see the entrance to Herb’s home, tucked into the corner of the newel post. A small white window and arched blue door with his miniature window box filled with spring flowers is quite a sight to see.

In the solarium, volunteers P.J. Harris and Adrian Mega greeted guests, and passed out name badges. The author and illustrator were there to sign copies of the book, and offer tidbits of information on Herb’s life.

On the terrace, under a massive white tent, volunteer Karie Johnson led guests in a Minnesota themed cakewalk.

In the society’s lower-level boardroom, volunteers and Koehler & Dramm Florists helped children create flower arrangements. Crafted from brightly colored carnations in parfait glasses, the simulated sundaes made excellent gifts for mothers who had brought their children to the event.

In the billiards room, artists carefully painted the rosy cheeks of young and old alike with glittering paints, while a balloon artist created fun wristlets for the kids in the form of bugs and flowers.

Prairie School of Dance of Eden Prairie provided the afternoon’s entertainment, a ballet performance. The young dancers seemed unfazed by the humid air. Guests were awed by their dexterity. Tables seating six or eight crowded the terrace. A hum of activity and delighted voices filled the tent. Polka-dot balloon arrangements and large bowls of pansies punched up the color.

In the dining room, the mansion’s chef scooped ice cream into bowls. On the buffet were brightly colored sprinkles, heaping bowls of whipped cream, chocolate fudge, caramel, and mouse-shaped cookies, so guests could customize their ice cream dessert. The huge silver epergne on the dining table held cookie crumbles (an ingenious idea not unnoticed by the silver collectors in the crowd).

As the afternoon of history, charm, and fun came to a close, children wrestled back into their rain gear, and made their way out the front door. Governor Mark Dayton, Kathy Buggy, and of course Herb waved good-bye from the front stoop. So the afternoon ended—and a good time was had by all.

Elements of the Party

• Invitations Using illustrations from the book, the invitation card introduced Herb and official host Governor Dayton with brightly colored pictures.

• Drinks Lemonade, iced tea, and prosecco gave choices for young and old. Appropriate to a children’s party, the beverages (except the alcoholic ones) were offered in optional “sippy” cups. Limiting the number of choices made the lines move swiftly.

• Menu It was simple: ice cream only for an ice cream social. With all the ice cream topping choices, it almost felt like a full meal. The residence served good old-fashioned Minnesota-made Kemps Vanilla Ice Cream.

• Party Time An ice cream social is held sometime after lunch, but before tea. This is a kind of garden party, which means it should end before the dinner hour.

• Decorations Early summer bouquets of pansies and other garden favorites were perfect. Airy flowers are best for this time of year.

• Parting Gifts Guests were given summertime bags for the beach. Adults left with a brightly colored tote from the 1006 Society, filled with tickets for summer events. Children received a beach pail with a shovel, Play-Doh and a Governor’s Mouse coloring book.


Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups.

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoon natural cocoa
1/8 teaspoon salt

Place your ice cream maker can into the freezer to cool.

Pour cream and milk into a saucepan, and bring liquid to scalding temperature.

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Whisk thoroughly to break up clumps. Add the dry ingredients to the scalded milk mixture, and stir with whisk until combined. Move the mixture to the refrigerator to cool for two hours.

Once the mixture is cool, pour it into the prechilled ice cream canister, and place it into your maker.

Crank or run your ice cream maker for 35 to 45 minutes.

Once firm, place the ice cream in the freezer for two more hours to finish.

Enjoy your homemade ice cream, a decadent treat that’s worth the wait.

Try these items for your next batch of homemade ice cream:

White Mountain 4 Quart Hand-Crank Ice Cream Maker
Solid wood and cast-iron construction with old-fashioned styling make this ice cream maker a showstopper.
Kitchen Window
Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.
(612) 824-4417

Dutch Process Cocoa Powder 2.1 oz. jar
Rich, smooth cocoa powder blends easily for making ice cream.
Madagascar Vanilla Beans
A true vanilla flavor comes from the source. Split open these beans, and release the essence into all your homemade desserts.
Penzey’s Spices
3028 Hennepin Avenue S., Mpls.
(612) 824-9777

Cedar Summit Farm Grade A Cream Pint
Pasteurized and bottled on the farm in New Prague, Minnesota, this organic cream makes for truly decadent ice cream.
Kowalski’s Market
2440 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls.
(612) 377-3448

About the Hosts:

The 1006 Summit Avenue Society, established almost 30 years ago, is charged with the care and preservation of the Minnesota Governor’s Residence.

From the society’s official statement: “The 1006 Summit Avenue Society is a nonprofit fundraising organization dedicated to preserving the grace and beauty of the Minnesota Governor’s Residence. Founded in 1982 by former First Lady Gretchen Quie, the 1006 Summit Avenue Society has donated items to the Minnesota Governor’s Residence totaling more than half-a-million dollars. Our model for fundraising and support has been used successfully by other Governor’s Residences throughout the country, and we are proud to be a vital and growing organization.”

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