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Frenzy for 7-Elevens frozen treats
Slurpee giveaway a thank you to loyal customers
Leilina Butler (bottom left) and the rest of the Milpitas Girl Scout Troup No. 61186 enjoy their free Slurpees at the 7-Eleven at the corner of Main Street and Northgate Drive on Thursday afternoon. - photo by HIME ROMERO

They’re thick, frozen and tasty.

And on Thursday, Slurpees – the trademark beverage of 7-Eleven stores across the globe – were free for those who were willing to brave the line to get one.

In connection with the store’s namesake numbers, the 24-hour convenience stores and gas stations opened up their Slurpee machines as a thank-you to customers.

At the 7-Eleven location at the intersection of Northgate Drive and Main Street, those who came out to take advantage of the free giveaway were mostly families – parents holding the hands of children while they waited and decided which flavor that they were going to walk out of the store with.

Leilina Butler didn’t exactly fit that mold.

A Girl Scout from Milpitas, the 8-year-old Butler was on her way to Arnold for a camping weekend when her troop leader decided to bring the dozen girls inside for a cold treat.

She grinned as she took each sip of the Piña Colada and banana Slurpee, and said that she’s no stranger to turning the knob on the instant machine.

“If it’s hot outside it’s good because it’s cold and it has taste,” she said. “Not everything that’s cold tastes good like that.”

Store manager Sam Boppana said that he expected upwards of 2,000 to filter through the store Thursday and take advantage of the free offer – a number that rose, he said, because of the warm temperatures outside.

But even if it’s just a small Slurpee, Boppana said that it’s good to give something back to the customers that frequent his store throughout the year.

“It’s a chance to give back something in appreciation of the support that they give us,” he said. “People like the different flavors and they definitely like them when it’s hot outside.”

Cherrise Martin wasn’t even planning on stopping it at 7-Eleven Thursday until her friend told her of the free giveaway and urged her to stop.

Jalisa Diaz wasn’t going to let Martin off the hook until she brought her in and allowed her to get a free Slurpee – something that she said she reserves for only days when it’s really hot.

Or when it’s free.

“They’re just so good when it’s hot outside,” she said. “And tell me that I don’t have to pay for it – we had to stop.”