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June 26, 2012
Note from lemonade stand kids

The nine lemonade stand kids included this enthusiastic note with their donation to Bridge Communities

Nine kids – Calvin McKee, Colin Griffin, Liam Griffin, Jessica Griffin, Patrick Doyle, Sam Travers, Jack Alving and Jordan Jenkins – decided to make a difference.  Nine kids decided to spend a hot, summer Saturday raising money for Bridge Communities.  These nine kids could have been at the movies on that steamy Saturday afternoon.  They could have been at the pool.  They could have been in the basement playing video games.

Nine kids want to help other kids like them, kids in their own community who need help.

It all started last year when two of these nine kids played in Bridge Communities’ youth golf outing.  Part of the commitment was that each team needed to raise $500 to participate, so the friends decided to operate a lemonade stand the day of Bridge’s Glen Ellyn Garden Walk, in front of the home of a neighbor whose garden was featured on the Walk.

“They took donations only, and all proceeds went to Bridge. People were so touched to see kids out there supporting Bridge that they gave generously,” explained Rani McKee, mother of Calvin. 

This year there’s no golf outing, but those two golfers turned to their friends and asked if they’d like to be a part of something big.  Together, those nine kids decided to do another lemonade stand the day of the Glen Ellyn Garden Walk to raise money for Bridge Communities.

“People on the Garden Walk were very receptive.  The homeowners loved it because they see that this is an extension to help Bridge even more.  And we as parents think it is ideal because our kids are giving back to the community.  And the kids, well, like I said, they want to help and are thrilled to now have ways to do it.”

It just so happens that Rani, along with moms Wendy Griffin, Kristin Travers Kathy Doyle, and Amy Jenkins, are Bridge Builders, volunteers who fundraise for Bridge Communities.  “It is important they not only see their parents helping others, but that they actively do it themselves. We were not sure how the lemonade stand would be received this year, but it was even more popular than our last one!  The kids set it up themselves and ran it alone, speaking to those who came up about Bridge Communities.” 

The parents’ role was to monitor the kids and get the supplies, but the nine kids ran it from there. The kids worked the stand however long they could…some all day, some for just an hour.  But they all played a part in something big – raising money to change the lives of kids in their community. 

In all, the kids raised $163.50 in one day of lemonade sales! 

“The best part is that our children love doing this and are always thinking of new ways they can raise money,” Rani reflected.  “Understanding that they are fortunate, but that life has major ups and downs is something they are beginning to really show empathy for.”

It’s refreshing to see these nine kids in our community embracing generosity, and with something so simple and so simply summer – a lemonade stand.

Yes, it’s very refreshing.

Ben Norgaard, Alec Pierce, Liam Griffin and Calvin McKee

Ben Norgaard, Alec Pierce, Liam Griffin and Calvin McKee and their caddy at the 2011 Bridge Kids Golf Outing

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