By Thomas Vogel
McDonald's surprised 99-year-old Monica Affleck, who has lived in River Forest for nearly half a century, with a gift card on July 12, redeemable for three months' worth of ice cream cones.
Affleck, a retired Chicago Public Schools biology teacher, has eaten a McDonald's soft serve ice cream every day for the last three years. The daily ritual first started after Affleck and her daughter, Jane, would make trips to Morton Arboretum and grab the cold treat on the way.
"It's just like really, really soft," Jane said. "She's always loved ice cream. Older people don't have very good teeth anymore. It's so easy for her to eat."
Jane, who lives just a few blocks away from her mother, said July 17 she tries to get her mother out and about every day and the trips to the arboretum were part of that effort.
A few months ago, Jane uploaded what she thought was a cute picture of her mother holding two ice cream cones from a recent outing to Facebook. The post quickly got a lot of responses. Some friends encouraged Jane to send the photo to McDonald's. She did and heard back a short time later. McDonald's, Jane said, told her they wanted to recognize her mother's love of the sweet treat.
So, to coincide with National Ice Cream Day on July 16, McDonald's held a ceremony at their downtown River North location, complete with white balloons — representing Affleck's preferred vanilla flavor — and a big sign.
"She could have one, two or three a day," Jane said, referring to her mother. "For 99 years old, she's pretty healthy. Her mind is great. She reads every day."
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