Kids’ lemonade stand raises hundreds for St. Jude

Paula Neuman
– Wyandotte Warrior

Two little girls with a lemonade stand learned a little about business – and made enough money in one afternoon to donate more than $225 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Cousins Lily Convery of Southgate and Evelynn Otter of New Boston, both 9, thought up the idea some time ago, and with the help of their grandmothers, sisters-in-law Patricia Izzo and Maxine Izzo, it finally came to reality on Aug. 30.

“Lily was bugging me about a lemonade stand all summer,” said Patricia Izzo, who made the stand and the posters for it, and “hosted” it on the sidewalk in front of her house on Emmons Boulevard in Wyandotte. She and Maxine Izzo made the cookies and lemonade to be sold.

Patricia Izzo asked the girls before they started if they’d consider donating the proceeds. They said yes, and chose St. Jude to be the recipient of their sales.

“We just thought it was a fun idea,” Evelynn said. “My mom (Nichole Otter) had a childhood cancer.  Some people are just stuck in bed. They can’t even do anything.”

“Some people don’t even get to play,” said Lily, who is in the fourth grade at St. Joseph Catholic School in Trenton.

The girls priced their wares at 50 cents per homemade cookie and 50 cents per glass of lemonade. They also had a little bit of another treat to sell – for a very short time, as it turned out.

“We had chocolate-covered strawberries, but we ate them all,” Evelynn said.

From 12:30 to 4 p.m., cars came by and stopped so drivers could buy cookies and lemonade and make a donation. Neighbors contributed, too. The girls were surprised at how good business was. And when it wasn’t, they danced in the driveway and shouted to encourage customers.

“She started dancing,” said Lily, pointing at Evelynn. “So we danced and we just kept yelling. A lot of cars stopped. Sometimes, a bunch of cars piled up. When there were a lot of people, it was hard to take care of them all. Toward the end, we were running out of lemonade, and there were like 10 cars, but we somehow made it.”

Surprisingly, the girls almost never had to make change when someone made a purchase.

“Only one person wanted change,” said Evelynn, who is in the fourth grade at St. John’s Lutheran School in Waltz.

Over and over, their customers handed them $5s, $10s and $20s, and told the girls to keep the change. And one young woman handed them a $50 bill.

“We thought it was a misunderstanding, but it wasn’t,” Lily said. “She said to keep the change.”

Patricia Izzo said the generous young woman told her she was on her way to the mall to buy two outfits, but saw the lemonade stand and decided she could do with only one. And then she handed the girls $50 for St. Jude.

“People were so generous,” Izzo said. “Cars were lined up, and little kids would come down the block with change.”

“I only expected to make $50,” Lily said. “Our (money containers) were overflowing.”

“We had to try to make more room,” said Evelynn. “It’s hard to believe you’d get that much money from a lemonade stand.”

Both girls were wide-eyed when the talked about it.

“I watched the two girls bloom a little with the giving spirit,” Izzo said.

And after the stand closed?

“We just felt really excited that we made so much money for St. Jude,” Evelynn said.

The girls made a card to go with their donation when it was mailed.

The card said, “We did this lemonade stand for you. We will pray for you.”

Lily and Evelynn have decided to have another lemonade stand for St. Jude next year on Aug. 30. 

“We’re trying to start a thing here, and do it every year,” Evelynn said.

And maybe – just maybe – they’ll have a cider stand this fall so they can donate more to the children’s hospital.

“They’re starting a tradition,” Izzo said.

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