NEW BUFFALO — About 100 New Buffalo Middle and High School students enjoyed ice cream cones at Nancy’s on Wednesday, June 5.
The landmark eatery, located downtown at the intersection of North Whittaker and Mechanic streets, was founded by Nancy Hettinga, who passed away at the age of 75 on May 26.
Bob Lewis (Nancy Hettinga’s son) said he and siblings Steve Hettinga and Wendi Nahikian wanted to do something to honor Nancy’s memory, and it was decided to contact teacher Lisa Knoll, a next-door neighbor of Nancy who said Hettinga “was almost like a mom to me.”
“She had a great connection with the community and loved helping others,” Lewis said of his mother. “She did some volunteer work at the school in helping some of the kids read.”
“We thought this would be a great opportunity for us to continue to give back.”
Knoll said most of the 100 students chosen to make the ice cream cone trip included those excelling on the recent NWEA Test in Math and Reading.
Also invited were all of the students Hettinga worked with two years ago as a volunteer reading instructor.
Ninth-grader Sophia Globensky said she was one of the students Hettinga worked with.
“She was really nice. She always brought us snacks and she really helped us and she loved doing it.”
Tina Brewster, who works at both the school and Nancy’s, said students could choose between six flavors.
Ashli Drewes, a 2015 New Buffalo HIgh School graduate, was one of four Nancy’s employees who helped make sure all 100 visitors got ice crier.
“It’s like a normal busy day, but it’s a little more special because they’re all from New Buffalo,” she said.
Lewis said his mom started Nancy’s and after selling it (Jim Kramer is the current owner) managed a restaurant at Four Winds Casino before she retired at 70.
He thanked Knoll and Principal Wayne Butler (whose father also was a neighbor of Nancy) for making it all happen on June 5.