MILFORD – Brooklyn and AJ Farrell showed their charity side this past weekend – and it was all fueled up after a stop for some lemonade at the dog park.
The couple, both students of Mathewson Elementary School, opened their own lemonade stand on Saturday with plans to donate the proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, which first emerged from the lemonade stand in the 4-year-old’s front yard. Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who fought cancer and wanted to raise money to find a cure for all children with cancer.
“We saw the lemonade and they thought it was a cool idea. I said it would be even cooler if we didn’t raise the money for ourselves, but instead give it to kids who need it more than we do,” Lisa Farrell , Brooklyn and AJ’s mother and a teacher at Foran High School.
“We talked about September being childhood cancer month because I’ve had students who have had cancer and died,” Farrell added, “and we know kids who have had cancer.”
In total, Brooklyn, a third-grader, and AJ, a fourth-grader, have raised $1,325 for the foundation, one of the leading funders of childhood cancer research in the US and Canada, with more than $200 million to date and funding over 1,000 research projects. and providing programs to families affected by childhood cancer.
“Alex’s lemonade stand has been around for a while,” Farrell added, “so we’re happy to give them something and use the money to help others.”
After introducing the idea to their mother, the brother and sister got to work making posters and placing them all around the neighborhood to get ready for the lemonade stand. They both said they were excited to start the lemonade stand, but admitted they didn’t know if it would be a success.
“I was nervous because I didn’t know if anyone was coming,” Brooklyn said.
“I was really excited because I had never done a lemonade stand before,” AJ added, “and we got a lot of people joining them.”
The siblings told their mother that they wanted to hold a lemonade stand on Saturday, prompting their mother to get things going so people could donate online for the fundraiser.
“I didn’t know how much money we would make, but I was happy that we made a lot,” Brooklyn said.
“When we finished the lemonade stand at 1:00 PM, we had a lot of money, and then we saw how much money we got online, and we got a lot of money,” AJ added.
The Farrells were amazed at the local support as they sat back to pour lemonade.
“Some people gave us $10, $20, and this one person was very generous. She gave us $100 and didn’t want change,” AJ said.
“I was very surprised,” Farrell said. “I know people are very generous in giving to charities, but I was very surprised and overwhelmed by it.”
She recalled one person who came to the lemonade stand and said she had a 2-year-old granddaughter who died of cancer a few months ago.
“She came, and it was very moving and emotional to see her there,” Farrell said, “and I know that people with children and grandchildren who have cancer are struggling, and it’s nice to show them support.”
Both Brooklyn and AJ said they were proud of their efforts and raising as much money as they did at the lemonade stand.
“I would do it again because it was a lot of fun, and I like helping people,” Brooklyn said.
“I would do it again,” AJ added, “and a lot of our friends came, and a lot of people came, and they would like to do something like that too.”