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Saturday, July 13, 2024
Lemonade stands across town highlight the compassion of youth
Siblings Jayden and Kate Polgrabia cheers each other before enjoying fresh glasses of lemonade at the Farmers' Market. (Richard Wright) RICHARD WRIGHT
The Skubel family, including mom Samantha, dad Dylan kids Jolie and Bennett took part in LemonAID Day in NOTL. (Tracey Hope) RICHARD WRIGHT
Another lemonade stand, this one run by Nathan Schram and Ava Pointsioen. (Dave van de Laar) RICHARD WRIGHT

If selling lemonade from a roadside stand will help another youngster go to summer camp, then Jayden and Kate Polgrabia of Niagara-on-the-Lake are jumping in with both feet.

“I feel really good doing this,” said 14-year-old Jayden from his stand at the NOTL Farmers’ Market on Saturday, June 8.

“It is a good feeling because we are helping others,” piped in his sister Kate, 11.

Across Niagara, dozens of lemonade stands popped up as part of the Mountainview LemonAID Day Kids Helping Kids campaign, including nine in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

All proceeds, which includes those from an online option for donations, go toward sending vulnerable and in-need children to day camp, overnight camp or toward a fund that will allow foster parents to take their children on private camping excursions.

Family and Children Services Niagara manage the funds and decide which camp option is best for the child and family.

“So, for the kids who need a good overnight camp experience, they (case workers) will recommend that,” said Caroline Polgrabia, chair of the Family and Children’s Services’ Niagara Foundation, which is the fundraising arm of the services group.

“Most of it is day camp right here in Niagara.”

For Jayden, his motivation comes from the results of helping others, but also from his personal and fortunate experiences of getting away and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

That, he said, is what he wants other youngsters to have in their lives.

“I know what camp feels like and I feel that other kids that are in need could use that experience.”

Kate feels the same way — when asked if she had a message for the kids she is trying to help, she spoke about camaraderie and the value of healthy peer connections.

“It really is a lot of fun and you get to meet a lot of new great friends.”

As a result of both the online donation campaign, which started in early May, and the weekend’s in-person lemonade stand fundraiser, a total of $50,498 was raised across Niagara as of June 11.

Online donations will continue to be taken until June 30, said Caorline.


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