Life imitated art in a charitable way when five third-grade girls at a school in west Centennial raised more than $2,000 — all by selling lemonade. “We got the idea from ‘The Lemonade War’ …
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Life imitated art in a charitable way when five third-grade girls at a school in west Centennial raised more than $2,000 — all by selling lemonade.
“We got the idea from ‘The Lemonade War’ book we read in class,” said Gabby Fuentes, a 9-year-old student at Mark Twain Elementary School.
The girls learned that their school needed a water-filtration system from their principal, and they decided to hold a lemonade stand in front of the school to raise money toward the roughly $2,000 cost. Their first stand on April 30 pulled in about $400 — but they weren’t done yet.
Christi Trinder, mother of 9-year-old Tessa Trinder, had posted about the girls’ first lemonade stand on Nextdoor, a social-media website for residents of a common area, which propelled the girls’ project further.
“We had people come to the stand just because of my Nextdoor post,” Christi Trinder, 43, said. “The community is a part of this just as much as the girls and the school.”
She noticed that Nextdoor was hosting a contest called the “10 Sweetest Lemonade Stands,” and she entered the girls’ story in hopes that their next stand would be recognized.
Nextdoor “was inspired by the girls’ commitment and dedication to helping their local community and chose their stand as one of just 10 across the country to recognize and support,” according to Jen Burke, director of local-media relations for the site.
That recognition scored them a lemonade-stand kit, including pitchers, cups, lemonade mix, balloons and a sign indicating the support by Nextdoor. The girls held a second stand on June 23 that raised $1,225 at that stand alone, and Nextdoor donated $500 on top of that.
Along the way, the girls learned about organizing and had some fun, to boot.
After hearing about the need for a water-bottle refill system from the principal, the girls decided to meet with her and later met with their teacher, Cheryl Fleming, and parents to work out the details, Christi Trinder said.
“I loved the giggles, laughter and friendship bond they made stronger through both lemonade stands,” she said. “They learned that they can make a difference even with something as simple as a lemonade stand.”
The top 10 lemonade stands in Nextdoor’s contest were chosen from a competition among users on the site, and their kids, who have used the site to spread the word about their stands. Hundreds of lemonade-stand creators entered, according to Burke, and Nextdoor employees judged them based on creativity, community involvement, passion and inspiration for the charitable cause they were supporting. The site also releases an annual list of top cities for lemonade stands — based on the amount of conversations about stands shared among neighbors on the site — and Centennial made the top 10 at number three.
“We hope by recognizing and supporting these stands,” Burke said, “we can inspire other little philanthropists to do the same in their own communities.”
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