Local folks interested in supporting a good cause have less than 10 days to patronize Tropical Sno, the temporary downtown Hinsdale shaved ice stand at 114 S. Washington St., and contribute to a Hinsdale teen’s effort to supply fresh water to a community in the developing world.
Patrick Williams, 18, opened the franchise in June at the former Cold Stone Creamery location, and has since been collecting money for Charity Water, a nonprofit organization that builds freshwater wells for communities in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. He hopes to collect $5,000 by July 28, when he closes up shop for the summer.
The amount Williams hopes to raise would be enough to build a well for a community of 200 people.
Tropical Sno will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Next week, it will be open during the same hours every day from Monday to Saturday.
Williams, who graduated from St. Ignatius this spring, said the privatization of water by governments in developing countries often results in unfulfilled promises by those put in charge of the resource.
“It’s terribly wrong,” Williams said, and he decided he wanted to do something about it. “I know one of the solutions to the world water crisis is small projects rather than big, international projects.”
This is Tropical Sno project No. 2 for Williams. He operated a franchise two summers ago out of the Hinsdale theater building and raised money for Haitian relief.
After overhead costs—which include wages for Williams and his three friends working as his employees—all money taken in by Tropical Sno will go to Charity Water.
To open the shop, Williams had to set up the short-term lease for the building, get a business permit from the , and approval from the health department.
“I have a full business experience, which is interesting,” he said.
Indeed, Williams has been getting the full business experience for over a month, so you’d assume the recent grad is interested in studying commerce in college.
“Not really; not at all,” Williams said, explaining that he actually intends to be a history major when he heads to William & Mary this fall.
No matter what he pursues, Williams’ resume is off to a strong start.