The NorthShore Health Center of Portage and Kona Ice of the Dunes teamed up on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate this year’s National Chill Out day - the official end to the tax season.
Parked outside of the 3564 Scottsdale Street location, the icee truck brought sounds and tastes of the tropics to combat the unusual winter-like temperatures assailing Northwest Indiana this spring.
“This is our fourth year celebrating National Chill Out Day as well as it’s our second year that we partnered with NorthShore for the celebration,” said Dawn Cole the Co-Owner of Kona Ice of the Dunes LLC. “My husband, Roger, and I love that we are able to give back to the community and the hard-working staff of NorthShore.”
While patients and NorthShore staff braved the brisk weather just to stand in line and get their leis and free, healthy treats in color-changing cups, the truck’s sound system played steel pan renditions of “Summer Summer Summertime,” “Under The Sea,” and Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day O).”
“Although it’s chilly out and today is the deadline for tax day, we’re excited to take the chill out of the day with our icee’s,” Cole said. “Like our sign says ‘no taxation without relaxation.'”
A little over 500 Kona Ice franchise owners throughout the country participated in today’s free icee event.
“All of our flavors are made out of VitaBlend, which is a low calorie flavoring made with all-natural stevia, pure cane sugar, and fortified vitamin C and D,” Cole said. “We’re also peanut, dairy, gluten, GMO free, and have dye and sugar free options. Our products are safe for the entire family.”
The side of the Kona Ice truck had a height-friendly flavor station that gave kids the opportunity to get creative with 10 original flavors such as “Monkey Business,” “Ninja Cherry,” and “Lucky Lime.” Adults had the opportunity to try 12 new mocktail options crafted behind the counter.
“Our adult flavors are Watermelon Mint, Coconut Lime, Bourbon Black Cherry Vanilla, Lavender Lemonade, Mai Tai, White Wine Spritzer, Lip Smackin’ Lemon, Aprium Rosé Sangria, Blueberry Acai, Cosmopolitan, Mango Jalapeño and my favorite, Blackberry Mojito,” Cole said.
Valerie Garza helped out on the truck; the event also happened to be Garza’s first day on the job.
“I absolutely love working with the public and getting the chance to meet new people and see new faces,” Garza said. “I’m definitely looking forward to our ongoing events during the summer months.”
The next Kona Ice and NorthShore partnership will begin the first week of June. The truck will be open for business at the Portage location once a week during the summer season.
“NorthShore has a great partnership with Kona. Over the summer Kona stops in once a month at a few of our locations but also sets up at our Patient Appreciate Fun Fairs in August. We love the idea of providing a special treat that is healthy and low in calories to our staff and patients,” said Tricia Hall, Director of Marketing/Patient Relations.
To find out where the nearest Kona Ice Truck is located, you can check out their website at https://www.kona-ice.com/find-a-kona/