When Stephani Locke’s twin sons Jack and Jude Locke, 10, announced they had plans to operate a lemonade stand and collect funds for the local animal shelter, she had a modest amount in her head.
“I honestly thought they’d make $5 tops,” Locke said.
She was off by $911.38.
The twins’ campaign to raise funds for the animals at the shelter really struck at the heart of Turlock residents and for three days their homemade lemonade stand was the place to be, getting visits from Mayor Gary Soiseth, Turlock Police Chief Nino Amirfar and a host of teachers and administrators from Dennis Earl Elementary, where the boys attend school.
“We were all shocked when we got a message from the mayor saying he was donating $100,” Locke said. “It took off from there.”
The $916.38 the boys raised will be used to help pay for food at the City of Turlock Animal Shelter and cover the spay and neuter fees for about 30 to 35 dogs and cats.
The idea for operating a lemonade stand first started forming in the boys’ minds during the school year when they saw how their home on Tuolumne Road was a prime location for collecting donations. They used the busy street to solicit donations for their school’s jog-a-thon and were able to amass $300 just by holding up some signs outside their house.
“That got them thinking about opening a lemonade stand during the summer and they wanted to give the money to some charity,” Locke said.
The family has two dogs they found at the shelter and two stray cats they have since adopted, so an organization that would benefit other animals was the logical choice for them.
“Both the boys said all the animals at the shelter are in need of help from us,” Locke said.
The effort was a real family affair with their father leading the construction of the stand and their mother making the lemonade, strawberry lemonade and the boys’ favorite — Arnold Palmers — for the sale.
The boys’ fundraising efforts are not done yet. After a fortuitous meeting with a veteran at a Modesto Nuts baseball game, the boys have decided they will open their popular stand again sometime in September to raise funds for the program Pets for Vets. A date has not been set for it, but it will be shared on social media when announced.