Kona Ice Gives Back To The Community In A Cool Way

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Kona Ice, shaved ice, italian ice
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Ron Matz is an Emmy award-winning reporter who joined the Eyewitness...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Baltimoreans love their snowballs. With warmer weather just around the corner, there’s something new on the streets that’s just as cool.

Ron Matz has more on what’s on ice for the spring and summer.

It’s the new sound of summer.

“The truck pulls up. The music’s playing. The kids get shaved ice on a nice hot day. The parents love it as much as the kids do. It’s just been a blast,” said Terry Leftridge, Kona Ice of Bel Air.

Kona Ice is on the streets. There are more than 30 flavors to choose from.

“It’s been great. We hit the streets last year. We’ve had nothing but fun; see kids smile, we like to say we serve fun in a cup,” Leftridge said.

The colorful trucks and Kona the penguin serve up shaved ice. The flavor wave is a big hit.

“We do a lot of schools and sporting events. I do a lot of neighborhoods as well. It’s just like the old ice cream truck, driving through jingling our bell. We have a unique sound to our truck. We’re the new Good Humor man. Now it’s Kona Ice,” said Chris O’Kieffe, Kona Ice of Annapolis.

So what’s the most popular flavor? If you’re from Baltimore, you probably already know.

“In Baltimore, the most popular flavor is egg custard,” said Joni Elmore, Kona Ice of Baltimore County. “If somebody asks for egg custard and marshmallow you know they’re from Baltimore. Children most of the time like the raspberry.”

The Kona folks raise a lot of money for charity. They’ll be at ROAR for Autism on Sunday.

“The foundation is giving back to the community,” O’Kieffe said. “Nationwide, Kona Ice has given over $10 million back to their local communities, churches, schools and sports groups. I personally have given away about $15,000 in the past three years. It makes you proud to give back.”

Kona Ice is giving back to Baltimore in a very cool way.

“We do a lot of fundraising events. For example, this weekend we’ll be at the ROAR for Autism for the Kennedy Krieger Institute. We try to help out all the communities. We donate back to the rec councils, schools, and nonprofit organizations any way we can,” Elmore said.

Currently there are 15 Kona trucks on the street from Baltimore to Hagerstown to Salisbury.

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