GIVING BACK - Haylen Astalos

Blackfalds boy raises funds for Ronald McDonald House

Youngster is doing great business in support of local charity

  • Aug. 18, 2016 6:00 p.m.

BY ERIN FAWCETT

Lacombe Express

One Central Alberta youngster has turned his love for ice cream into an effort to give back to families in need.

So far, Haylen Astalos, 6, of Blackfalds, has raised more than $11,000 for the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer.

Haylen began selling ice cream in support of the organization after his fifth birthday.

Instead of gifts for his fifth birthday, his mother, Tabitha Astalos, said they did a ‘Five for Five’ theme celebration.

Guests brought two $5 bills to the party where one went to Haylen’s charity of choice, which he decided would be the Ronald McDonald House in Red Deer, and he got to keep the other $5 to purchase a toy for himself.

“We gave him three options for charities that he could choose and we explained what each one did,” said Tabitha. “When it came to the Ronald McDonald House and explained what it was about, it was his choice. We told him how they help keep families together while sick kids get treatment. That really struck him.”

After his birthday, he donated $100 to the House in Red Deer.

Haylen and Tabitha went to the Ronald McDonald House to donate the money and there they got a tour of the house and learned more about how the house and the staff helps families in need.

“It was the first time we had ever been in a Ronald McDonald House and he just fell in love with it,” said Tabitha. “They have been so awesome and accommodating to us.”

About a month after that initial visit, Haylen asked Tabitha if he could start an ice cream shop with the proceeds going towards the cause. And that is where Haylen’s Ice-Cream Shop was born.

Initially, the ice cream shop was set up in front of the family’s Blackfalds home in the fall of 2013. “It was just like a little lemonade stand, but it was ice cream instead.”

The following May, Tabitha asked Haylen how much he wanted to raise that summer. Haylen said he wanted to raise $2,011. With the help of social media, Haylen reached that goal within two months.

Haylen’s next goal was to raise $3,009 which he met and then he made a third goal of $5,012.

“He said his goals have to keep increasing,” said Tabitha.

So far he has raised more than $11,000 and the funds continue to grow.

In addition to the ice cream shop, Haylen also does bottle drives where he collects money for the Ronald McDonald House as well.

“I am so proud of him,” said Tabitha.

“My hope is for Haylen to really see the difference that he is making in other kids. We know what it is like to have a sick child and watch them struggle through being sick. To be able to know he is helping other families to ease that time I hope he understands that.”

The ice cream shop has given Haylen many opportunities over the past couple of years.

Businesses have asked for him to set up shop at their locations and he recently got to meet the Calgary Flames after they invited him to a practice after seeing his posts regarding his efforts on social media.

They invited Haylen to a private practice and he was able to set up his stand in the locker room, meet each player individually and sell hot chocolate.

Being a huge Flames fan himself, Haylen’s words when asked how he liked that experience, were, “Super.”

Tabitha said the things Hayden has learned from the ice cream shop are incredible.

“The things that he has learned from this are definitely amazing,” she said. “The way he can count and add money now, he has become this math whiz. It blows my mind.”

In addition, Haylen also wants to begin a hot chocolate stand in the winter months so he can continue to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House.

For more information, visit Haylen’s facebook page, ‘Haylen’s Ice-Cream Shop’. Businesses interested in having Haylen’s Ice-Cream Shop on location can contact him through his facebook page.

Direct funds can also be made through Haylen’s Ice-Cream Shop via Ronald McDonald’s Make<span clas

Just Posted

Lacombe Generals march back into the win column against Rosetown

Generals end three game losing streak with 4-1, 6-5 wins over Red Wings

UPDATE: Lacombe, Red Deer snubbed from new ambulance list

Lacombe Councillor Chris Ross continues to advocate for added care in Central Alberta

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Central Alberta Woodworkers showcase craft at Lacombe Memorial Centre

Guild is the latest to showcase their work at the LMC’s art exhibit

Man wearing bandanna with knife robs Lacombe Circle K

5’3” white male stole cash, cigarettes early on Dec. 4th

VIDEO: Light Up the Night Santa Klaus Parade brings festive joy to Lacombe

The Tim Horton’s Santa Klaus Parade in Lacombe brought thousands to the streets

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Alberta Finance Minister says equalization program not working

Equalization formula fails Alberta again, says UCP

Omar Khadr to ask for Canadian passport to travel, permission to speak to sister

He spent years in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay after he was caught when he was 15

Most Read