Pedestrians walking through downtown Winter Garden on Wednesday afternoons may notice a small lemonade stand set up in front of American Legion Post 63. It’s the second year in a row that Daphne Bray has set up her stand in front of the post in order to raise money for the Children's Organ Transplant Association.
In the first hour of being open on Wednesday, June 14, Daphne raised $12.
Last year, she raised about $250 for the national charity. This year, she’s hoping to hit that $250 mark again and maybe even surpass it.
The idea of hosting a lemonade stand originated as way for Daphne and her mom, Laura, to get out of the house during summer break.
“It gives us something to do, and we have the opportunity to give back to the community and we get to talk to people,” Laura said.
Since Daphne’s grandmother is the adjutant at Post 63, the mother-daughter duo were permitted to set up the stand in front of the post. And the decision to donate the proceeds to COTA was also driven by the Post 63 as the American Legion had challenged all posts to support the charity.
“(I like it) because I’m helping people out,” Daphne said.
And after last year’s success, Daphne could hardly wait to hold another lemonade stand this summer.
“She was looking forward to it all year,” Laura said.
In addition to getting out of the house, Laura said the stand is a way to teach her daughter the meaning of helping others.
“It teaches her what it means to give back to the community,” she said.
But Daphne’s stand hasn’t been the only charitable lemonade stand in Winter Garden.
Earlier this month, 10-year-old Michaela Iapaluccio hosted her annual lemonade stand in the John’s Lake Pointe community. All the money raised from sales will benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money for childhood cancer research. The national organization is named after Connecticut-native Alexandra Scott, who battled cancer until her death in 2004 at the age of 8.
“I do the lemonade stands because I care about kids who have many different types of cancer,” Michaela said. “I am very inspired by Alex because she was a strong girl with great fighting spirit. I really love that.”
Michaela and her two friends, Allie Nix and Katie Nix, held the one-day fundraiser on the first Sunday in June for about two hours. Their goal was to raise $50 each hour, but they more than surpassed their goal after raising more than $200.
“She kicks off the summer every year (with the lemonade stand), and it’s gotten bigger and bigger,” said Michaela’s mom, Stacy. “This year, we even had people who just wanted to give a donation.”
Although Michaela’s lemonade stand has closed, Daphne’s stand in downtown Winter Garden will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays through the end of June. And like most stands, the lemonade costs $1.
Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].