Local Entrepreneur Is Dedicated To Giving Back To The Community

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bringing amusement park excitement everywhere it stops, Hamilton County’s new Kona Ice truck blends entertainment and gourmet frozen treats into an experience unlike any other in the area.

“When our customers get a glimpse of the decked out truck and its vibrant colors, the looks on their faces say it all,” said Kyle Elrod, who joins his wife, Dei, as the local residents and entrepreneurs responsible for shifting good times into overdrive in Hamilton County, including Bradley County and Chattanooga with the launch of their third Kona Ice truck to better serve the area. The Elrods have been in Hamilton County since 2010 and are continuing to grow to meet the demand of the community.

Kona Ice’s escape from the ordinary begins as the sounds of tropical calypso music fill the air at each event and group gathering. The fun continues as all in attendance get their overflowing cups of freshly shaved ice and then help themselves to any of the ten tastes on the truck’s Flavorwav (an interactive dispensing system in which individuals select from one or more of the flavors to pour over their fluffy snow) or the additional 20-plus flavors and 500 different combinations available.

“It’s an opportunity to kick back, let your hair down and just get a bit goofy for a few minutes,” said Mr. Elrod. “Kids go crazy and we see adults getting just as into it as the young ones. We’ll even throw a few leis or Kona t-shirts on our customers, and send them home with a fun Kona Ice cup. From start to finish, we engage all their senses.”

Equally as appealing about the launch of Kona Ice in Hamilton County is its philanthropic commitment to the communities it serves. The Elrods are continuing Kona Ice’s tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams and community organizations. As the Elrods book events with these groups, they pledge to give back a percentage of the proceeds from each stop. As of June 2013, the Elrods have given back over $75,000. Nationwide, Kona Ice has donated more than $10 million dollars.

“The Elrods share our passion for giving back,” said Tony Lamb, founder and president of Kona Ice, who created the concept after witnessing the fear in his daughter’s face during a visit from an old rusty ice cream truck. “We want to engrain Kona Ice into the fabric of the towns where we live, work and have families. Returning a portion of what we earn back to the groups helps ensure that they continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our friends, neighbors and family members.”

Beyond fundraisers, popular spots for Kona Ice stops in Hamilton County and Chattanooga include birthday parties, corporate events and neighborhood socials. The Elrod’s truck also maintains regular weekday and weekend routes. To learn more, contact Kyle Elrod at 423 402-1811 or at kelrod@kona-ice.com  facebook.com/konaicetn

Mike’s Hole in the Wall Moving Across The Street; Virgola Opens On Georgia Avenue; Mojo Burrito Adds 4th Location

Mike’s Hole in the Wall, 535 Cherokee Blvd., is moving to a new, remodeled location across the street from its original location after 10 years. It was described by John McClellan as a neighborhood bar and restaurant. A new beer license was needed from the city beer board because of the new address and because a third partner, David Debroskey, has been added. Virgola will ... (click for more)

Crabtree Farms Offers Instant Pot Workshop On Saturday

Crabtree Farms is offering an afternoon on the basics of using an Instant Pot o n Saturday, March 10 ,  from 3-4:30 p.m .  Amanda Nelson-Varnell, of Dish T’Pass Catering Company, will be host the of this class.  An Instant Pot is an electric, programmable, and highly versatile kitchen device that does the work of seven kitchen gadgets.  It can be ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Chickamauga Lock Construction Fully Funded For 4th Consecutive Year

Senator Lamar Alexander on Wednesday said the government funding bill will fully fund construction of Chickamauga Lock for the fourth consecutive year, providing up to $78 million – which is more than twice the amount of funding the project received last year.   Senator Alexander said he has made completion of Chickamauga Lock one of his top priorities as chairman ... (click for more)

Former Juvenile Court Magistrate Says Gay Marriage Is "Nothing You Put In Air Quotes"

A former magistrate at Juvenile Court, who claims she was fired by Judge Rob Philyaw because she is openly gay, said Wednesday that gay marriage "is nothing you put in air quotes." She referred to County Attorney Rheubin Taylor asking her about her ceremony in marrying another woman and raising his hands to form quote marks. Elizabeth Gentzler is suing Hamilton County, Judge ... (click for more)

Avoid Underage Drinking And Other Prom Drama

My high school prom took a dramatic turn when two guys got their tuxedo jackets mixed up. One of them belonged to my date, who kindly offered to keep my wallet in his pocket. That’s the jacket another young man mistakenly grabbed off the back of a chair before heading to an underage drinking party that got shut down by police well after midnight—as kids scattered in every direction.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sheriff’s Request

Jim Hammond will talk to members of the Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon and, just like any police officer in the United States, he will request that everybody “stay in their own lane.” Some school board members tend to believe they need to help decide the best methods of protecting our children. They believe this is one of the things they were elected to do in ... (click for more)