“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
That’s what cousins Jasmin Falk-Hurst, 11, and Taylor Minten, 13, have done.
After their grandmother, Marilyn VanDongen, had a big decline earlier this year after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, the girls decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, in her honour.
Their grandmother now resides at The Hamlets at Westsyde, so the girls say it’s their turn to care for the one who so often cared for them.
They are taking part in this year’s online IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s under the team name Marilyn’s Memories.
It was on the day the girls set up their lemonade stand that Derek Pickford was driving home from a hot day of work and spotted their endeavour.
He circled back, pulled over and hopped out to grab a quick drink to slake his thirst.
When he approached the pair, he saw their sign, which noted 50 per cent of profits would go to the Walk for Alzheimer’s.
Pickford was so taken with their fundraising initiative that he donated $500.
The girls told him they would be setting up again. Sure enough, Pickford was back on another day, but this time with more than 100 co-workers from the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
Workers arrived in cars and a company bus also pulled up, loaded with thirsty souls eager to sample the girls’ lemonade and to make a donation to a worthy cause.
Even Trans Mountain staff who couldn’t visit the lemonade stand donated money.
“It was really crazy to think about,” Jasmin said. “We could barely keep up with making lemonade.”
Following COVID-19 safety protocols, the cousins were able to serve the super-sized crew.
Initially, the plan was to donate half of the lemonade stand proceeds to the Alzheimer’s Society of B.C.; however, once they saw how much money was being donated, they quickly made the decision to donate 100 per cent of what they took in.
As of Friday, the girls had raised nearly $9,000.
When the girls next visit their grandmother, they will no doubt each receive a big squeeze of thanks from her appreciative arms.
Their next lemonade stand will be set up on Sunday, May 30, at 308 McGill Rd. in Sahali, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s the same day the month-long IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s wraps up with a livestream event.
To donate to the cousins’ online fundraising effort, click here.