So what happens when the most popular lemonade stand in the Midwest decides to share some of their bounties? Well, what happens is, someone receives some much need financial assistance. Ariana and Lilly delivered a $1,500 check to Sugar Boxx, a local ice cream parlor with a dedication towards kids. Sugar Boxx was one of the many businesses affected by the rioting that took place in Kenosha a few weeks ago and as might be expected, any unplanned financial gifts are most welcome to help the rebuilding and the healing.
Much of Kenosha is well aware of Ariana and Lilly’s Lemonade Stand and that they were motivated by a sense of community to do something to help. Said Tricia Roberts, Ariana Rivera’s mom, “For our family, the lemonade stand has brought us hope. Hope for the future and recovery of Kenosha. We have witnessed, first hand, the generosity of our community. We have shifted from a place of sadness and devastation to positivity and revival”. And the girls have latched on to the idea of being helpful leaders in their city and the importance of giving as opposed to keeping.
The message from Angela Vitkus, mother of Lilly Vitkus, echoed the idea of selflessness in these to young ladies. “My proudest mom moment is that our girls never once asked to keep a penny of the nearly $5,000 that they have raised. I think we are helping them to understand how large a number that is. They also don’t want to quit raising money. They intend to continue having lemonade stands and seek donations! I very much admire the tenacity of these two 6 year olds!!!!”. There certainly is something to be said about “being raised right”.
The girls even managed to make it to the 5:00 news…and the 6:00 news…and the 9:00 news. And everyone really enjoyed the coverage they were given by Fox6 and the professionalism and personality of the person telling their story. “Fox6 news reporter, Sam, was the top of the line. He was SO patient with our girls”, said Roberts. “He drank a cup of lemonade and was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted”. And Ariana Rivera and Lilly Vitkus have no intention of making a lemonade splash and then calling it quits. This weekend on September 12th they will be selling lemonade in the parking lot of the old National Bank (22nd Ave and 63rd St) from 11-2:30pm and will continue to do so until winter hits. Who knows, by winter they may be selling hot chocolate.
Ariana’s mom summed up the experience from a “parent wondering what to do for their child” perspective. “I’ve learned to listen to my daughter and help her problem solve, care for others, and be grateful. I supported her lemonade stand because she genuinely LOVES turning our home into a store and assisting customers. It’s easy to support your child when making a connection to the things they love. If your child loves to clean, mow lawns, paint, or take care of animals, provide the opportunity for them to help others by providing a service they love. Our children are able to contribute to the rebuilding of our city. Teach them to appreciate and love where they live, and Kenosha will be stronger and better than ever”.