Restaurant sets up a festive drive-thru for ‘Easter Egg Grab’n’Go’
One Wareham restaurant found a new way to get Easter eggs to kids and to honor an injured Marion athlete while still complying with social distancing to keep everyone safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thomas Strom, the owner of Kool Kone and a Marion resident, wasn’t able to host his usual Easter egg hunt in his restaurant’s mini golf course, so he adapted by hosting “Hannah’s First Annual Drive-Thru Easter Egg Grab’n’Go.” Visitors drove through the parking lot to get a free bag full of Easter eggs with candy and other goodies like stickers and pencils. The event was held in honor of Strom’s daughter Hannah, who is currently in the hospital recovering from a serious car accident on Jan. 15 of this year.
Strom directed traffic while his employees Maddie Lofken and Ashley Hathaway used a putter to hand over the bags of goodies from a safe distance on Saturday, April 11.
Other Kool Kone employees worked inside the restaurant to prepare the goodie bags and bring them out to Lofken and Hathaway as needed. According to Strom, his employees prepared over 1,000 bags for the unique event.
The Easter Egg Grab’n’Go was scheduled to start at noon, but Strom said that cars were already lining up around 11 a.m.
Melanie Zacamy prepared some of the bags on Saturday afternoon. As the mother of a four-year-old herself, she said the event was a good idea because kids have very few other opportunities to celebrate Easter this year due to the pandemic.
Although the bags were free, donations were collected to help pay for Hannah’s recovery as she works to regain movement and dexterity at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she has been since Feb. 11.
“She has come such a long way since Jan. 15,” her mother Gail Strom said in a Facebook update on April 7. However, Hannah is just starting to move with a walker and cannot speak.
Coronavirus has also hit the family hard, not because anyone is infected, but because it has further kept them apart. Not only can Gail not leave Spaulding, she now can no longer leave Hannah’s floor, or she would not be allowed back in.
“Sometimes for a break, I would head to the cafe on the first floor to sit at the tables by the window. To regroup. To just be somewhere different,” she wrote. But now, “it’s been going on three weeks I have been outside.”
April 7 marked the day that Hannah began using a standard walker with supports on both sides, a moment that her mom called huge.
“Keep in mind when she arrived she couldn’t even sit. Couldn’t even hold her head up. Barely opening her eyes,” Gail wrote.
Her daughter can use simple items like a hairbrush or cup, point to answer questions and helps with dressing and undressing herself, even if it takes multiple tries.
Though progress is slow, Gail finds that she appreciates the little things all the more now.
“There is nothing sweeter than my precious girl’s kisses these days,” she said.
Their stay at Spaulding has been extended, and though Gail sometimes feels trapped in the hospital with the virus upending life, she is grateful for the level of care Hannah gets. “This is what I was praying for. To stay here and work hard!” she wrote.
She thanked community members for their continued support.
“Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers for my precious girl and our family,” she said.
At Saturday’s Easter event, Thomas Strom said that his family is hoping that Hannah will be able to go home by June 7.