Inspired by the disastrous wildfires in Alberta, eight-year-old Kaden Forte has brought back a tried and true fundraiser: the lemonade stand.
Every Wednesday night you’ll find him sitting at the end of his driveway on Hunsberger Road in Conestogo selling iced tea to the many cyclists who train there, and neighbours who come by looking for a refreshment.
He’s charging 50 cents a glass and half of the proceeds will go to help those affected by the wildfires that continue to blaze through Alberta.
They’re going to make a homemade lemonade, too, to offer another choice for those who don’t like tea or don’t want to drink something with caffeine.“It’s basically trying to be a lemonade stand. So I thought of it last year and I thought half the donations would go to the food bank. But now with the wildfires I thought it should be half to Alberta instead of the food bank,” Kaden said.
He ran a lemonade stand last year for one day, giving half the proceeds to the food bank.
So far in his first night of selling iced tea he estimates he sold 30 glasses. And then a few of the neighborhood kids walked over and bought a drink.
Kaden’s mom, Stephanie, notes the bikers seemed to all stop at the end of the driveway. He explained why he was raising money and the ones who didn’t have money on them said they’d be back this Wednesday for a cool beverage and to give a donation.
“I only do it most Wednesdays when the bikers come by because there’s a ton of them, so it’s big bucks for me and big bucks for the fundraiser,” Kaden said.
He guesses about 100 cyclists come up and down the road on Wednesday nights, making it a profitable venture for this budding entrepreneur, and an easy way to raise funds for the relief efforts in Alberta. They range from professional cyclists to learn to ride groups.
He’d like to raise $200 for the cause, or as much as he can. He plans to run the fundraiser every Wednesday for the next few weeks at least.
Kaden had been hearing a lot about the wildfires and when his mom explained what was going on, he knew he wanted to do his part.
“When I saw all the bad stuff, like people dying from hunger or people dying in a forest fire, I decided to help out.”
The fires had moved to north of Fort McMurray this week, destroying the Blacksands Executive Lodge, an oil-sands work camp. More than 90,000 people have been evacuated from the city and surrounding areas.
Kaden will be running his iced tea and lemonade stand with half the proceeds going to help those impacted by the Alberta wildfires on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. at 2180 Hunsberger Rd.