Monday, Aug. 13 was particularly warm, even well before noon, but early morning pedestrians were able to grab some refreshment thanks to a lemonade stand established by nine-year-old Paige Ayres.
In addition to fresh lemonade, Pagie was offering chocolate chip cookies and jam jams, all in the name of a worthy cause or two.
The hand-drawn sign in front of her plastic table advised customers she was selling the tasty treats to raise money for a local rescue group called In Memory of Shadow Emergency Vet Care Fund.
Shadow was the first cat the group ever rescued. It was crushed by a car and died overnight before they could get it to the vet.
“She’s going to make a portion of her sales to that,” confirmed her mother, Melanie.
But raising money for the emergency fund is not Paige’s only goal.
She also plans to adopt her own kitten.
“I want a little girl to take care of,” says Paige. She even has a name picked out already, Meredith Grey.
Setting up a lemonade stand to fundraise the $125 adoption fee for her own cat was entirely Paige’s idea, and one she did not immediately share with her parents.
“We didn’t know what the lemonade stand was for at first,” says her mother Melanie. “First few sales she had, she was saving her money. She wouldn’t spend any.”
Paige had already decided what the money was for, but had to work up the courage to approach her parents.
Paige finally asked her mother who quickly agreed, pending Dad’s approval.
“She sat her Dad down Saturday (Aug. 11) and popped the question,” recalls Melanie. “I helped her prepare her speech to butter him up, so Dad would say yes.”
Paige delivered her well-planned pitch over the supper table while holding her father’s hand. Her father, Norm Kinslow, said yes.
“I used to want a dog but now I love cats,” says an excited Paige, who plans to teach Meredith Grey some tricks. “I’m going to teach her to lick fingers and bite toys.”
Paige will continue selling her lemonade and cookies right up until the school year starts, as long as the weather continues to co-operate.
Her new kitten is due to be born soon and will be ready to come home with her in November.
Melanie reports that people have been kind and have donated more than the 50 cents Paige is charging. It helps a lot that the family driveway is located in a high-traffic area across from a busy drugstore and doctor’s office.
Paige is having so much fun and success that she already intends to set it up again next year.
“It’s something that she’s going to keep doing,” says Melanie. “She said that she’s going to open her own business.”