Edgerton fifth-graders ready to take a (lemonade) stand to raise money for school’s PTA
If you go
When: 11 a.m. to midnight. Sarah McCue and Riley Lechner will sell lemonade and bottled water starting at 11 until supplies run out.
Where: Downtown Edgerton. The lemonade stand will be in front of Al Beyers Indoor Comfort Systems, 22 W. Fulton St.
EDGERTON Ten-year-olds Riley Lechner and Sarah McCue were bummed when they found out someone allegedly stole thousands of dollars from their school’s PTA account.
So they decided to do something about it.
“I heard it on the bus that people were talking about money being taken (from) the PTA, so me and my friend Sarah got together and we thought of a little lemonade stand,” said Riley, a fifth-grader at Edgerton Community Elementary School.
That little lemonade stand will try to lift the community’s spirits and quench its thirst at Edgerton’s Chilimania on Saturday.
The news broke just before school started that former PTA Treasurer Kim Kienitz confessed to stealing more than $11,000 from the group’s account.
Riley came home from school upset about the news, said her mother, Kelly Lechner.
“She came to me and she said, ‘You know what, Mom? This was our money,’” Kelly said. “And I said ‘Yes it was.’ And she said, ‘I want it back.’”
Kelly encouraged Riley to find a way to get involved, and Riley and Sarah thought of the lemonade stand. At first, they planned to have it outside Riley’s house, but then the families remembered Chilimania was coming up, Riley said.
Their parents enthusiastically supported the idea, and Riley thought of the perfect name for the stand: “When Life Hands You Lemons.”
“I was pretty proud,” Kelly said. “She’s definitely trying to be a leader and trying to make a difference.”
The girls and their families will set up shop outside Al Beyers Indoor Comfort Systems, 22 W. Fulton St., Edgerton, which Sarah’s dad and uncle own.
The families have two five-gallon containers ready to hold lemonade. Culligan Water of Janesville donated three cases of bottled water; Carl’s Shell gas station of Newville donated ice, and Staples of Janesville donated poster board, Kelly said.
Sarah has never done a lemonade stand, but Riley has done a couple at garage sales. They figure Chilimania is a perfect place to sell cold drinks, Sarah said.
“We just came up with that because it was going to be a hot day and we know lots of people are going to be thirsty because of … ”
“Chilimania,” prompted her mom, Sally McCue.
PTA President Melanie Simmons said the girls’ plan made her day.
“Obviously, they have good parents because these kids are conscious about this kind of stuff,” she said.
Other people have offered to help the PTA through fundraisers and donated services once the organization knows its financial status better, Simmons said.
“People are stepping up, and I think the overall reaction is pretty positive from the community,” she said. “People are shocked, but they realize it was one person. It wasn’t the whole organization.”