By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item
MIFFLINBURG — Fred Hoffman III loved milkshakes.
Cerebral palsy had made it so that the 33-year-old Mifflinburg man had to use a feeding tube, which limited what Hoffman could eat by mouth. Milkshakes were a way around that.
“His favorite were my mom’s,” said Hoffman’s sister, Angella Laubach, especially the chocolate ones she made for him. “He would settle for a McDonald’s one now and then, but he liked my mom’s the best.”
Friday will be two years since Hoffman died, and his family — Laubach and parents Fred Jr. and Shelley Hoffman — invites people throughout the Valley to honor him with “Milkshakes for Fred,” a fundraiser in Hoffman’s memory. Proceeds will go to SUNCOM Industries in Northumberland, Hoffman’s former employer.
The second annual benefit is likely the easiest way to give ever: All day Thursday and Friday, people are asked to send photos of themselves or others drinking milkshakes to Hoffman’s family via email or text or post them on Facebook, and they will donate $1 to SUNCOM or $2 if the photo subject is wearing the official “Milkshakes for Fred” T-shirt.
Buy the milkshakes from McDonald’s in Shamokin Dam, Green Ridge Country Market in Mifflinburg or the Kreamer Freeze in Kreamer, and they will donate 50 cents for each one sold. The family said people should be sure to tell the stores they are drinking the milkshake for Fred.
“The family was trying to find a way to remember him,” Laubach said, “and the main thing was he liked milkshakes.” A cousin got things started with a simple declaration, “I’m drinking this milkshake for Fred.”
“I said, hey, let’s do more with that,” Laubach said.
There’s nothing like combining charity with frosty goodness. Last year, Milkshakes for Fred raised more than $4,000 for SUNCOM, a nonprofit, human services agency that provides vocational training and skill development for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. Hoffman had worked at SUNCOM since graduating from Mifflinburg Area High School in 1999.
This second time around, Milkshakes for Fred already has surpassed $4,500 with donations and sales of the official T-shirt, 325 of which sold for $10 each.
Looking at the photos of people drinking milkshakes will remind Laubach of her brother, who despite his disability “was like a regular brother. He would pick on me like a regular brother,” she said, pulling her hair or trying to trip her.
“He couldn’t express himself like anyone else, but you’d kind of see that twinkle in his eye that said, ‘ah ha, I got you!’”
To submit photos, email them to email@example.com, text to (570) 713-8710 or post them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MilkshakesForFred.