Shelbi Martin loved ice cream. Even more so she loved hearing the music of an ice cream truck, running to the truck and choosing her own treat.
Although Shelbi lost her eyesight during treatment for a brain tumor, she could still hear the truck’s music and the sound would bring a smile to her face.
The night before Shelbi passed away at age 5, her family – parents Shauna and Vince and twin sisters Hailey and Adelynne – decided to start Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats, a non-profit, all-volunteer ice cream truck business. All the money raised would be used to bring joy to families dealing with childhood cancer. On March 29, 2009, what would have been Shelbi’s 6th birthday, Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats began.
Plain Township resident Lucy Miller and her four daughters, Kelsey, Hannah, Kate and Holly, are friends of the Martin family and are organizing a fundraiser for Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats to be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday, July 29, at Arcadia Grille, 321 Court Ave. NW, in Canton.
The event will feature music by Dennis Schweizer from Friq and Fraq, celebrity guest bartenders, a basket raffle and a 50/50 raffle. Arcadia Grille will donate 20 percent of food purchases during the event.
The Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats ice cream truck will also be on site. Miller explained that Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats helps families dealing with childhood cancer by designing “scoops of happiness” for the child and his or her family.
Families are referred to Shelbi’s by Akron Children’s Hospital or they can fill out a family enrollment form found at the organization’s web site. The form asks for the child’s name, age and any special interests or hobbies. It also asks for siblings’ names, ages and interests.“They try to make it a family gift,”Miller said. “Each gift is very personal and specific to each case depending on their needs.”
The gifts can range from gift cards for gasoline to attendance at an event, Miller added. One child received an iPad, another a flat screen television, and another a special mattress. The organization also coordinated an RV rental for a family trip. “The list is endless,” Miller said. “We go with whatever the child likes and try to make it real personal.”
She added that a young boy with leukemia wanted his gift to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in his name.
On summer evenings volunteers will drive the truck throughout neighborhoods, most often in Perry Township where the Martin family lives. The truck also goes to area schools during May and to preschools that offer childcare in the summer months. It can also be reserved for birthday parties and other special events.
For more information about the event or to donate an item or service, contact Miller at email@example.com. To learn more about Shelbi’s Sweets & Treats, visit the web site at www.shelbissweetsandtreats.com.