Rapper Vanilla Ice is partnering with a Palm Coast restaurant to raise money for the Little Smiles charity.
"We're going to pack this place in," he said. "It's going to be a good time, for a good cause."
In a Facebook reel posted on Bronx House Pizza, Vanilla Ice appeared with restaurant owner Brad Beam to announce the fundraiser. Beam said in an interview with the Observer that on Feb. 25, 100% of all sales — not just proceeds — at the Bronx House Pizza Hammock location in Palm Coast will go toward Little Smiles.
That is all sales, including deliveries, he said, with no money taken out even for administrative costs like payroll. All people have to do is place an order, he said.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to donate,“ Beam said. “Come in, buy a soda — don't buy water, because we don't charge for water — buy a soda, buy anything you want.”
The restaurant's Hammock location is at 5384 N. Ocean Shore Boulevard, Palm Coast. The restaurant will open at 12 p.m., Beam said, but their outdoor area with a pop up liquor truck will open at 11 a.m. for people who show up early.
Little Smiles is a charity that works specifically with terminally ill children, helping kids be kids.
Beam said that the team at Little Smiles also donates funds from events like this to local pediatric centers. Little Smiles will send the money from the Feb. 25 fundraiser to the pediatrics center at Halifax Hospital, he said.
“So the money that we're raising, you're going to see that in something local,” he said.
Beam said Bronx House has also coordinated with Little Smiles to create a number people can text to donate. People can text “Bronxhouse” to 44-321 to donate directly to Little Smiles. A QR code is also in the works, he said.
Beam said this all began when Robert Van Winkle, known professionally as Vanilla Ice, began coming to the Hammock Bronx House location regularly over the last several months. The two struck up a friendship, Beam said.
Beam said he and the Bronx House Pizza founders, Bruno DiFabio and Michael Bennici, were already hosting regular charity events they called “Supper Clubs” at the Hammock location. The Supper Clubs, he said, were six- or seven- course meals that people can by tickets to and the funds raised were donated to the United Way of Florida, a charity close to the heart of DiFabio.
One day, Beam said he talked to Van Winkle about charities important to the rapper, which is where Beam learned about the great things Little Smiles does.
After brainstorming with DiFabio and Bennici, Beam said the three of them decided to up the ante and have this fundraiser event.
Beam said Van Winkle was “blown away” when first told about the idea. After that, Beam said, it was just a matter of coordinating dates between Bronx House, Van Winkle and Little Smiles.
In the reel, Van Winkle encouraged everyone to show out for the event.
"So come see us. We're going to say hello to everybody and have a really good time," he said.
Beam confirmed that Van Winkle will be hanging out at the Hammock location during the fundraiser event, alongside Little Smiles’ owners. It’s going to be a very busy day, but everyone on staff is looking forward to it, he said.
“We're really excited to be able to do something like this,” Beam said. “We're excited to be able to bring some awareness like this the community.”