Pre-teen's juice stand gives from the heart

Amanda's Lemonade Stand gets a $10,000 corporate donation from beverage giant

It seems to 12-year-old Amanda Belzowski, when life gives you lemons, you make $35,000.

It has been 11 years since Amanda’s Lemonade Stand began to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and it’s still going strong, raising $135,000 dollars to date, with $35,000 added this year alone.

Every year Amanda’s Lemonade Stand returns in May, sometimes featuring celebrity guests like Mike (Pinball) Clemons who made an appearance last year.

This year there was a second outing on July 25 at the Metro at Eglinton and Bayview Aves. Amanda featured her new corporate friend, Minute Maid.

The beverage giant has donated $10,000 to Amanda’s cause and provided the lemonade.

At the fundraiser Amanda talked about her message of giving to the community, and how easy it is to get involved.

“I hope to inspire everyone to have a lemonade stand for something they believe in,” said Amanda, who is working toward her goal of raising $200,000.

Justin Brown, from the Heart and Stroke Foundation, was amazed at Amanda’s passion and success.

“It’s the power of a positive young influence,” he said. “It has a gravitational pull — it brings people together.”

Parents Lisa and Dan Belzowski were proudly overseeing their daughter’s operation on the sunny Saturday afternoon.

They recalled the origins of the simple lemonade stand, which they started when Amanda was only a baby because they felt it was a great way to teach her how to help others.

Eleven years later, Amanda is calling the shots.

“She’s just taken off with this and made it her own,” said mom.

You can never be too little to make a difference, Lisa said, as long as you believe in your cause.

Now, it’s just part of who Amanda is, she added.

“I think Amanda will be a fundraiser for life. I think we all should be,” she said. “We’re very proud of everything she does.”

About this article:

By: Eric Stober
Posted: Aug 13 2009 3:42 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto