The most popular question this week in classrooms all over Revere has involved finding out what everyone did over the summer.
Some went to Disneyland.
Others saw the sandcastles on Revere Beach up close.
Still others will have taken vacations to far-flung places.
But two little girls at the Whelan School will have an answer that no one is expecting – that being they raised $1,000 for charity through a lemonade stand they organized and ran on Dale Street.
Don and Susie Martelli of Dale Street said their girls – Kayla, 8, and Jordan, 5 – took a different tack to their summer vacation this year, and it was a direction that their parents never expected.
Susie said that every year the family makes a “bucket list” of things they want to do during the time off from school. It’s a way, she said, of making sure that time isn’t wasted.
“We always do the bucket list and put down the things we want to do and the places we want to go during the summer,” said Susie. “This year, for the first time, they wanted to do a lemonade stand. My oldest daughter, though, wanted to know if maybe we could do the lemonade stand for charity. We didn’t know where she got the idea, but we ran with it.”
The Martellis ended up finding a charity called Alex’s Lemonade Stand that raises money for children with cancer. Both girls responded well to the idea as they had seen a commercial featuring kids with cancer at Children’s Hospital.
With that in mind, Susie said the kids began to get really motivated about helping others. They registered online with the Alex’s charity and began accepting donations for the effort.
Using word of mouth and social media as well, they set up their stand on July 7th.
Kayla said she was pretty nervous when they first set up on Dale Street.
“My favorite part about it was when the first person came to buy lemonade,” she said in a phone interview. “It was exciting to me because I was so worried that no one would come. The streets were empty and no one was around. Then, all the sudden, someone came up. That was exciting and I was happy because it was helping kids with cancer.”
Susie said the girls took in $236 in just one day from people walking up to the stand. If that wasn’t enough, the rest of the summer the sum grew bigger and bigger as people kept donating to the cause online.
“We would have been happy if they had made $100, but the online donations kept coming in and they ended up making $1,001 including the online donations,” she said. “We were very proud of them. The highlight for me was when our oldest daughter told us that if anyone with cancer came by, we weren’t going to make them pay. They would get a free cup of lemonade. It really tickled my heart that she said that.”