Neighborhood lemonade stand spells relief for east coast and passersby

Carolyn Fick wanted to do something with her 4-year-old daughter, Caitlyn, to make a difference after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.

"We heard someone say something about a lemonade stand," Carolyn said. It sounded perfect. "We were trying to think of something that would make Caitlyn think she was contributing."

On the day of the attacks, and in the days that followed, Carolyn and her husband, Tom, tried to limit Caitlyn's exposure to the grisly and frightening images on TV and elsewhere, but Caitlyn had an idea that something was going on.

"She saw all the flags," Carolyn said. "She wondered why all the flags were flying."

Carolyn explained to her daughter that "some bad people" had crashed airplanes into buildings. "She asked if people had died, and we said, `Yes'," Carolyn said.

Carolyn got Rosauers to donate two gallons of lemonade and she and Caitlyn set up a stand Sept. 21 on the corner of Belmont and St. Charles Place, a couple of blocks from their home. The hot day proved to be a boon for the lemonade business.

"Neighbors were coming by and we were just talking and drinking lemonade," Carolyn said. Passersby waved and gave them the thumbs-up as they drove by. Carolyn and Caitlyn sold cups of lemonade for $1, but many people gave several dollars -- some even paying with a $20 bill and telling them to keep the change.

Caitlyn lasted about two-and-a-half hours, finally growing tired and heading home while Carolyn stayed to sell the remaining lemonade. It was almost gone when a car pulled up to the stand. The two occupants stayed in the car and each ordered a lemonade.

"They asked if they could write a check," Carolyn said. She told them they could, advising them to make it out to the Victims Relief Fund set up through the Bank of America.

Carolyn handed them their lemonade and they gave her the check. She glanced at it and thought, at first, that it was made out for $100.

"Then I saw that it was for $1,000," Carolyn said. "I couldn't believe it." Astounded, she thanked the couple and they drove off.

After the lemonade was gone and the stand packed up, Carolyn and Caitlyn had raised $1,141.80 for, as Caitlyn said, "the people that got hurt."

"This has affected everyone at some level," Carolyn said, adding that it made her feel good to feel like she and Caitlyn were doing something about it.

"The whole day made me feel good about how out of something awful, we have come together as a community and a nation," she said.

Epilogue

The couple who paid $1,000 for their lemonade were Walt and Christine Nance of Hood River. They agreed to be identified but didn't want to be the "story" in this story. Walt Nance, a contractor and owner of Jack of All Trades, knows about helping others in times of need; he has spearheaded several volunteer construction projects to make much-needed home repairs for people in the Hood River Valley who are unable to afford it. He has donated his own money and countless hours both working on others' homes for free and rallying community support and donations for these projects, another of which he begins today.

About their expensive lemonade, Walt said only that it was all his wife's idea.

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