For nearly 10 years I’ve volunteered with college students at Give Kids The World Village, the 84-acre resort where children with life-threatening illnesses stay with their families during week-long “wish trip” vacations. Invariably, one of our favorite volunteer shifts was in the Ice Cream Palace where families could get FREE unlimited ice cream from 7:30am to 9:00pm. That’s right, kids could even get ice cream for breakfast at Give Kids The World. Since its founding, Give Kids The World has served approximately 5 million scoops of ice cream.
For 20 years, families enjoyed sundaes, shakes and banana splits in a building designed just like those delicious desserts – complete with bananas, whipped cream and even a cherry on top. Now the Give Kids The World Ice Cream Palace is scheduled to get a makeover and served its last scoop. The iconic venue will soon be replaced by Henri’s Starlite Scoops, a new ice cream parlor named for the Village’s founder, Henri Landwirth.
The new location will be a retro space-themed tribute to its founder, Henri Landwirth, who began his hospitality management career operating the Starlite Motel in Cocoa Beach during the 1950’s. The motel was a hotspot for Mercury 7 astronauts during the early days of space exploration.
“Henri’s Starlite Scoops will offer an experience to visiting wish families we simply couldn’t offer at the Ice Cream Palace,” said Give Kids The World spokesperson, Jessica Mueller. “It will feature lower countertops, allowing children of all abilities to see and select their own ice cream, and a more open concept, which will allow volunteers to easily interact with our guests.”
Give Kids The World begins construction of Henri’s Starlite Scoops today, January 30, 2019. During construction, the nonprofit will continue the tradition of ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Henri’s Starlite Scoops – Pop Up. This temporary parlor will be located inside the resort’s Gingerbread House dining facility.
“Children with critical illness face countless appointments, treatments, and hospital stays. They’re often told ‘no’ due to the limitations of their illness. But, here at the Village, we make sure it’s a week of ‘yes’. That won’t change while we’re constructing the new parlor,” said Mueller.
The sun may be setting on this version of the Ice Cream Palace at Give Kids The World Village, but, rest assured, there will still be plenty of scoops, smiles, and memories for years to come.