Lemonade stands have long been a staple for younger fundraisers. But for 10-year-old Antonio, his exceptional cause is what makes his stand, stand out.
“I had two lemonade stands in support of Michael Garron Hospital (MGH), one in 2018 and another in 2019. It was a fun way to raise money with my mom and dad,” Antonio says. “The first lemonade stand earned $560 and the second one earned $1,450, each within four hours!”
There’s a secret to Antonio’s success, and it comes from the wonderful community around the hospital.
“Friends and family came to support me. Even strangers came and said how MGH saved their life. One gentleman donated $50, and he didn’t even want a glass of lemonade!”
MGH has a special place in Antonio’s heart. “One of the reasons I chose MGH is because my grandmother worked there, and my aunt and uncle work there now. MGH is an important hospital for my family because they all go there when they’re sick and need help. MGH is a good hospital because the doctors and nurses are caring and want to help people.”
A strong community is vital, and according to Antonio, being a good neighbour is something you can do every single day.
“Being a good neighbour means helping my neighbours when they need help, and caring for them like they are my own family. It's important to be nice to my neighbours too, by saying ‘hi’ and being polite.”
While Antonio has found success with his lemonade stand, he knows there are other ways that people can give back to the community as well. “Others can give back by helping people who can’t help themselves. They can keep their community safe by shoveling a senior’s sidewalk and driveway, or mowing their lawn. Others can donate food to their community food shelter.”
What’s next for the east end’s favourite lemonade salesman? “I really wanted to do a lemonade stand this year, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic it’s not safe. I really hope that in 2022 I can set up my lemonade stand in front of my dad’s salon in East York and support MGH again.”