Nine-year-old Ashlyn Thomas has always dreamed of opening a lemonade stand outside her house in Libertytown, but there was never enough foot traffic on her street to justify it.
That’s not a problem at her home parish of St. Peter the Apostle in Libertytown where hundreds of people gather for Sunday Masses every week.
With the permission of Monsignor John Dietzenbach, pastor, Ashlyn and about a dozen friends began operating a lemonade stand at the parish a few years ago during the summer months. All the money they earn is donated to a special fund to help rebuild the church that burned down in 2004.
Homemade signs advertise the business venture as a “Lemon-Aid” stand.
“We use Countrytime lemonade, but we take fresh lemons and squeeze the juice into it with some ice,” explained Ashlyn, a third-grader who is home-schooled.
“It tastes really good,” she said. “If there’s any leftover, we get to drink it. I love all that sweetness.”
Since the stand benefits the church, there are no set prices for each freshly poured glass of lemonade. Some people pay with a few coins and others drop off $20 bills, according to Krista Thomas, Ashlyn’s mother. More than $1,000 has already been raised.
“It’s been great,” said Mrs. Thomas. “In the summer, folks are looking for something tasty and it gets them going on that day.”
Ashlyn said she gets plenty of compliments on her recipe and is glad she is doing her part to help her parish.
“One lady said it tasted perfect,” she said. “People like it a lot.”