EDMONTON — Hundreds of kids across Alberta set up lemonade stands Sunday to help raise money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
Organized by the Stollery Children’s Hospital, families sign-up online and receive lemonade ingredients, cups, signage, t-shirts, and training to create the best cup of refreshing lemonade.
All proceeds will go towards renovating the family room at the Stollery, a central place for patient families to be together, reflect, rest, and re-energize. The new space will feature improved wheelchair access, a new dining area, and updated technology.
“So we’re going to put all the money into the family room, and we’re going to make it nice for the people who are staying at the hospital,” said Eve Loiselle, a lemonade stand participant.
As of publication, stands raised nearly $100,000.
Monita Chapman, Lemonade Stand Day chair, said the event has been run since 2014 and is a summer tradition for many families. It helps to teach philanthropy and entrepreneurial skills.
“It’s the lemon family that we’ve created,” Chapman said. “My two daughters who’ve been doing this since they were quite young this year started their own businesses because of stuff they’ve learned through Lemonade Stand Day.
“(Many) families participate every year and make this part of their summer plans,” she added. “That’s my favourite part because these kids have grown up doing this.”
In that first year, there were 30 stands only in Edmonton. The event has now grown to 350 stands across Alberta.
After eight years of running the event, Chapman says it is getting close to raising a combined total of $1 million.
“To be here is absolutely mind-blowing,” she said.
Lisa Jackson’s daughter Maya required surgery at the Stollery in 2016.
“It certainly was instrumental in her recovery, and the process and support functions at the Stollery were huge for her,” Jackson said.
This year marks the family’s sixth year of squeezing lemons to make lemonade.
“It’s pretty cool because the kids in there need it, and I like helping people,” Maya shared. “They need our help, so we’re helping.”
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