A sweet treat on a sunny day not only helped to stave off the summer heat, but brightened a few spirits, too.

Residents and staff at Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home in Williston were treated to shaved ice from Jer Bears Sno Shack, as the business set up shop in Bethel’s parking lot the afternoon of Tuesday, July 16. Jer Bears co-owner Tami Enget told the Williston Herald that they were contacted by Bethel’s activity director, asking if they’d like to come set up and serve their signature treat. Enget and her husband Jerys, the “Jer” behind Jer Bears, said they wanted to be more involved, and the Sno Shack is the best, and most fun, way they can do so.

“We’re not doing this to make money,” Jerys said. “We’re doing it so we can give back. It’s a tool for us to be able to give back to the community.”

Originally starting out with just one shack, Jer Bears has to expanded to three shacks, with a permanent location in Williston and Dickinson, and a mobile shack that can travel to various events in the area. The staff and residents at Bethel certainly seemed excited for the opportunity to try a shaved ice of their own, with many sitting outside with their treats while others enjoyed live music inside. Resident Marian Rasmussen, assisted by CNA Nancy Maldonado, had her hands full with a cappuccino-flavored shaved ice, piled so high she almost couldn’t carry it.

“It’s very good,” Rasmussen told the Herald. “But it’s way too much!”

Clayton Lee, another resident at Bethel, enjoyed his shaved ice, but had a one recommendation for Jer Bears staff.

“If I was to make one suggestion,” he said, “they need bacon flavor or buttered popcorn.”

As Tami, Jerys and their staff served up the various colorful creations, staff and seniors alike continued to thank them for stopping by, asking when they would return and where they would be next. Tami and Jerys said they’ve become passionate about giving back, taking part in different events and fundraisers to help give back to the community. Donating the tips they make to organizations, while matching the funds themselves, is just one of the ways they’ve given back.

Tami said that it also gives others an avenue to give back as well, as she said some people may want to donate to a cause, may may not know how. What better way, she said, than to get a treat for themselves, and having that money go towards a worthy cause.

“It just gets people to give, and that’s what life, I feel, is about.” she said.

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