Dean and Denise Dozier are giving people.
Whether it’s giving back to communities wrought by disaster or putting a smile on a young child’s face with one of their flavored shaved ice treats, the couple – who have worked in disaster and emergency management for 25 years – are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others.
Their newest venture, starting a Kona Ice franchise, enables them to give a percentage of their proceeds to a local organization, school or cause that benefits the community.
“Both of us feel very strongly about giving back to our community, especially to those functions that help support kids,” Dean said. “With current budget conditions that exist in our schools and with a lot of government functions today, this is a prime way in which they can help fund some of those needs within the school systems and within some of the nonprofits.”
The job has other perks, too.
The Doziers cruise around town in a tropical-theme truck that becomes a full-service shaved-ice parlor. The truck’s bright colors and tiki design are eye-catchers for motorists, Denise said.
“We get a lot of people who drive by, and they kind of crane their neck because they’re looking at the truck,” she said. “Or they’ll walk up and take pictures of it in the parking lot just because.”
The Doziers are new to the area, having moved to Appling in November.
Dean, a native of northern Louisiana, and Denise, originally from Maryland, were brought together by their mutual philanthropic efforts.
They have aided in disasters including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the BP oil spill along the Gulf of Mexico and the Joplin, Mo., tornado in 2011.They both served with the American Red Cross.
“After being in several of the big, bad and ugly disasters, I decided that it was time to lighten things up just a bit,” Dean said.
The Kona Ice fundraising concept was right up their alley.
Theey already hope to become a partner in education with Stevens Creek Elementary School and are working to join forces with other schools and groups, such as Martinez-Evans Little League,
In addition to schools and day cares, the truck can set up shop at community festivals, parties, athletic events and workplaces.
The Doziers’ colorful Kona Ice truck is one of 300 roaming across 41 states.