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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Bucktown Neighbors Raised $10,000 For Beloved Ice Cream Man. Here’s How Wilfredo Cintron Said ‘Thank You’

Cintron, who turned 80 Sunday, felt happy and honored to give back to fellow seniors at Belmont Village, his son said.

Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Lauren Hollasch / Provided
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LINCOLN PARK — Bucktown neighbors raised more than $10,000 to help Wilfredo Cintron purchase a generator for his ice cream truck.

Last week, the beloved ice cream man thanked the fundraiser’s organizers by delivering free ice cream to Belmont Village Lincoln Park, the senior home where Steve Adolph’s 95-year-old father, Howard Adolph, lives. Steve Adolph co-organized the fundraiser with his wife, Ellen Zfaney.

Cintron, who turned 80 Sunday, felt happy and honored to give back to fellow seniors, said his son, Jonathan Cintron.

“I personally think my dad felt grateful to give back because he just turned 80 … and he was with people of his age,” Cintron said. “It might not have been much, but at least we can give back to [Steve] in a way.”

RELATED: Bucktown Neighbors Raise More Than $9,000 For Beloved Ice Cream Man: ‘I Feel Really Grateful’

Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.

Lauren Hollasch, community relations manager for Belmont Village, 700 W. Fullerton Ave., said the residents loved learning the story of Cintron’s business and meeting the father-and-son duo.

“One of our residents, Joanne, reminisced about her childhood, with a ‘sweets truck’ that would go through her neighborhood, ran by ‘Popcorn Johnny.’ The residents laughed as they traveled back to simpler times of ice cream trucks,” Hollasch said.

Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Howard Adolph, 95, is the father of Bucktown resident Steve Adolph. He received free ice cream from Wilfredo Cintron.

Cintron got into the ice cream truck business in the ’70s after moving to Chicago from Puerto Rico. He’s had his own truck for 42 years and has driven his current truck since 1989.

Cintron has driven his truck throughout Northwest Side neighborhoods, including Bucktown, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park and Hermosa. He started off selling cones for $1 and still sells them for the same price. 

After learning Cintron desperately needed to replace the generator on his truck, Steve Adolph and Zfaney created a GoFundMe fundraiser with an initial goal of $5,000. Within one week, $9,000 was raised. About $6,000 was donated the day Block Club published an article about Cintron.

“Once again, my dad wants to say ‘thank you’ to everyone that donated and for buying his ice cream,” Jonathan Cintron said.

Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents and staff of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
A resident of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Credit: Lauren Hollasch / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron delivers free ice cream to residents of Belmont Village Lincoln Park senior home.
Credit: Jonathan Cintron / Provided
Wilfredo Cintron hands ice cream to a customer in Bucktown after neighbors raised more than $9,000 to fix his truck.
Credit: Provided
Wilfredo Cintron has been in the ice cream business for 42 years.

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