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Turlock boys to hold lemonade stand fundraiser for sick neighbor
lemonade stand pic
Wesley and Colvin Hamel plan to put their lemonade stand sales toward a worthy cause this Saturday when they raise funds for their neighbor who was recently diagnosed with cancer. - photo by Photo Contributed

Big hearts come in small packages, and that’s especially true for Colvin and Wesley Hamel.

When the two Turlock youngsters heard that their neighbor, John Cronk, had been diagnosed with stage four medullary thyroid cancer, they knew they wanted to help. On Saturday, six-year-old Wesley and eight-year-old Colvin plan to host a lemonade stand, with all proceeds going directly to Cronk and his family.

“I’m so proud of my boys for doing this,” said their grandmother, JoAnn Boulanger-Hamel. “In an age where everyone is focused on themselves, the boys are worried about someone else.”

The Hamels have been close with the Cronks ever since the family moved into their neighborhood about five years ago, said Colvin and Wesley’s father, Jeff Hamel. After seeing various fundraisers for John and his family around town, including garage sales and a drive-through dinner at Las Casuelas, Wesley approached his father, wondering if the lemonade stand that they had used numerous times before could be put toward something good.

“I built the stand about three years ago and we’ve just used it for fun until now,” said Hamel.

Upon hearing his son’s idea, Jeff and Wesley walked over to the Cronks’ home and shared how they wanted to help. Deanna Cronk, John’s wife, was extremely excited.

“She thought it was so sweet,” said Hamel. “She even volunteered her daughter Riley to help.”

Both Colvin and Wesley grew up playing with Riley, making their desire to help her father that much greater. To prepare for the fundraiser on Saturday, the boys have been picking lemons so that they can sell fresh, hand-squeezed lemonade to those who stop by.

So far, thanks to word of mouth and social media, the Hamel boys have raised nearly $300 for the Cronks without selling a single glass of lemonade. At the stand, the boys plan to sell each cup of lemonade for 50 cents. Friends and family members are also baking cookies and muffins to contribute to the sale.

“We just want people to stop by, drink some lemonade and help out,” said Hamel.

The Hamel boys’ lemonade stand fundraiser will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 353 Sunshine Way. For anyone unable to purchase lemonade or snacks, but wanting to make a donation to the Cronk family, the Hamels are accepting PayPal donations to