Over $350 raised for Make-A-Wish as people get free ice cream from Cold Stone

Nearly 100 people got a surprise when they strolled into the Waipouli Kauai Village location of Cold Stone Creamery Thursday night.

It was free ice cream.

Nearly 100 free creations worth over $550 were given away during the fund-raiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with $362 being donated to the cause, said Barbie Taylor, who with husband Don Taylor own and operate the Waipouli Cold Stone Creamery location.

Thursday, July 24 was National Ice Cream Day, and at Cold Stone Creamery locations around the country it was celebrated as the world’s largest ice-cream social.

The star of the show was a very sweet creation dreamed up by Alexei, a seven-year-old boy from Atlanta who is suffering from leukemia and wants to go to Alaska while he is still alive.

The creation combines the franchise’s cake-batter ice cream with Oreo cookies, M&M candies and chocolate fudge.

While not all of Thursday’s patrons wanted the super-sweet creation, they opted for other free creations and made donations to the foundation, Barbie Taylor said.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions, “to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy,” according to a foundation spokesperson.

It is the largest wish-granting charity in the world. There are 76 Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in the United States and territories, and 27 international affiliates on five continents.

The organization has more than 25,000 volunteers, and has granted more than 110,000 wishes since 1980.

Alexei, born in Russia in 1995, was adopted by an Atlanta couple when he was 17 months old. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition where his heart was twice as large as it should have been.

After 20 days on the heart-transplant list, he received a transplant in April 2002. Alexei is in second grade now, and his wish is to travel to Alaska and ride a dogsled.

The Taylors plan to open a second Kaua‘i Cold Stone Creamery in Kukui Grove by October, and another in Po‘ipu as soon as commercial space can be built or located.

The Kauai Village location is open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, please call 823-9099. Cold Stone Creamery’s Web site is www.coldstone.com.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation is on the Web at http://www.wish.org.

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