For a Smoky River Region family, there’s nothing quite as sweet as being able to raise funds for the Stollery Children’s Hospital.
The group, comprised of three generations of family members, hosted a lemonade stand in Falher, AB, at the end of August to support the Stollery’s Lemonade Stand Day initiative to raise funds for the hospital. Kristen Blanchette says that her nieces, nephews and children chose the name ‘Be Our Zest’ for their stand.
“Our total raised was $2,912.80,” says Blanchette. “We are so overwhelmed by the support from the community.”
The Simply Supper’s Lemonade Stand Day is a program that gives children the chance to run a business and to learn about customer service, all while raising money for the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. According to the Stollery website, the anticipation was that there would be over 400 lemonade stands across the province of Alberta supporting the hospital.
Although the event is planned and managed by Simply Supper and a volunteer committee, proceeds are all donated back to the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. Blanchette says the hospital has been instrumental in her family’s life, with multiple family members having to use the hospital. She and her children Rosalynn and Remy, her mom Marion Lessard, sisters Taryn Wirove and Celty Maisonneuve, and their children Nash Maisonneuve, Maelle Maisonneuve, Nate Wirove and Ellie Maisonneuve were excited to raise funds for such an important hospital in our province.
“Many in the family have been in there,” says Melody Maisonneuve about the importance of hosting the stand. “We should help support other kids that need the Stollery and it’s fun to do the lemonade stand.”
Her little sister Maelle agrees saying that it’s fun to run a lemonade stand. Little Nash says he likes to drink lemonade, so that’s the best part of having a lemonade stand.
The family is set to hold another lemonade stand next year in support of the hospital, a ritual that Blanchette says she anticipates will continue for years to come.
“This is our second year doing the stand, but the 10th year the Stollery has had a lemonade stand day,” she says. “We are already planning for next year.”
This year the Simply Supper’s Lemonade Stand Day proceeds will go towards renovating the family room at the Stollery Philip C. Etches Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Royal Alexandra Hospital.
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Sep 13, 2023