Students, teachers and parents were welcomed to a cool treat on a hot Tuesday afternoon.

On Aug. 25, Reed Realty Group and Guild Mortgage provided free Kona Ice treats at Fairgrounds Park in Troy to give thanks to the educators and parents who kept their children – and themselves safe during a rough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“All of the teachers have been stressed out over the summer with the coronavirus,” said Tony Pogrelis, Guild Mortgage manager. “This is a way to get them ready for school.

“This is just a ‘thank you’ to the teachers, parents and the kids.”

Lincoln County R-III Schools, along with the private schools in Troy, chose in-person instruction to open the 2020-2021 school year, while other districts in Lincoln County decided to continue with a virtual option because of concerns over the novel coronavirus.

“It’s great (the schools) are trying to get back to normal, and get back to some sort of schedule,” said Sierra Reed, an agent for Reed Realty Group, a division of Berkshire-Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties.

“I’m just happy to have a choice,” Pogrelis said. “When schools shut down (in March), one parent was forced to stay home to take care and instruct their kids.

“Kids need to be around other kids, and have fun.”

Jen Sands learned of the event from Reed, who is also her realtor. Her daughter, Norah, is a student at Sacred Heart Parish School in Troy, and she agreed with the sentiments of the event co-sponsors.

“I think (opening our schools) is really important, especially for the younger students who are developing friendships and social skills,” Sands said.

Melissa McDonald brought her daughter, Stevie Rae, who started her first day of kindergarten at Sacred Heart – and while her daughter enjoyed the “Mystery” flavor of Kona Ice, which turned out to be strawberry – her mother was happy she was able to return to school after five months.

“I think (going back to school) is huge. It’s a sense of normalcy (our children) haven’t had since March,” McDonald said. “As kindergarteners, you want them to have that experience, like we all did.

“Any way we can make it more normal for them, it’s great.”

Reed said children, parents and teachers weren’t the only ones looking to beat the heat.

“It’s been a positive turnout so far,” she said. “We’ve even had some adults stopping by.”

McDonald said watching Stevie Rae enjoy her Kona Ice was the perfect end to what was a perfect day for her daughter after a tough summer.

“Getting to see her teachers and friends again was a reward in itself for her,” she said.