ST. MARYS, Ohio (WDTN): A group of St. Marys seven to 10 year olds raised over $1,200 for Celina tornado victims with their neighborhood lemonade stand last weekend.
“The community really comes together when someone needs help,” said Caroline, who asked her mom if she could buy lemonade for a stand with her allowance money.
“(Three of them) were playing together and they asked,” parent Erica Bills said. “They wanted to raise money and I gave them ideas like Tailgate for Cancer, but with the storms they knew about the situation in Celina and wanted to help.”
St. Marys Mayor Patrick McGowan was one of their first customers. He lives across the street.
“I stepped out of my front yard and they were yelling at me to come over and buy lemonade,” McGowan said, who lives in the same neighborhood. “It wasn’t long after that it started to take off.
At the end of the first day, the kids raised $345, stunning their parents.
“I cried a lot that weekend,” Bill said. “I think all of us parents did. We were super proud.”
The success led to free publicity. A local realtor posted about the kids stands and it was given a shoutout on a local radio station. St. Marys police stopped by as well as the parish priest and principal at Holy Rosary School, where the kids attend.
McGowan and the St. Marys City Council recognized the children and the charitable effort in a resolution it passed during Monday’s meeting.
“I think it exemplifies to me really good parenting,” McGowan said. “The kids had a blast those four days, it was fun to see.”
The children are planning their next fundraider idea. Olivia said she would like to make more brownies to raise money for Dayton tornado victims. Taylor wanted to sell popsicles while Caroline wants to make cupcakes.