Allison’s Lemonade Stand: Turning life's lemons into sweet lemonade!

Allison with her lemonade stand

On a scorching summer day, few things rival the satisfaction of sipping an ice-cold glass of lemonade. But when that simple pleasure also serves a noble purpose, like shedding light on the seriousness of arthritis, it becomes the perfect summer treat. Meet seven-year-old Allison from Newfoundland and Labrador, who has organized four consecutive Move Your Way fundraisers for Arthritis Society Canada with her annual event, Allison’s Lemonade Stand. Move Your Way is a simple do-it-yourself fundraiser that gives everyone an opportunity to participate in a way that is fun and meaningful for them.

Behind a well-crafted wooden lemonade stand decked out with a colorful bunting banner, Allison greets her customers with a smile. While Atlantic Canada's July weather can be unpredictable, this day is rain-free and beautiful. Neighbours, family and friends stop by, delighted to quench their thirst with cold lemonade and satisfy their sweet tooth with home-baked cookies and brownies. This year, Allison has added handcrafted bracelets and parfaits to her stand, offering customers an even greater variety to purchase. The air is buzzing with friendly chatter – everyone is thrilled to support this young philanthropist and contribute to a good cause.

Arthritis hits close to home for Allison. Despite her young age, she has witnessed her maternal grandmother's struggles with arthritis pain and has observed how this disease has robbed her paternal grandfather of his mobility. As he awaits a hip replacement, Allison, with the help of her parents, is actively raising awareness and funds to support the arthritis community.

"Each year seems to draw more people, and it has quite a festive atmosphere," says Deanne, Allison's mom. News of Allison's fundraiser spread through word of mouth, and donations continued to come in even after her stand closed for the day. "We've had quite a few people knocking on our door and handing Allison money when they see her."

Allison raised over $600 in July 2023, surpassing her $500 goal, and she's not finished yet. With her sights set on 2024, Allison and her family are excited to make an even greater impact. "We'll have to plan something extra special next year. It will be Lemonade Stand #5!"

Over the four years Allison has moved her way, she has raised a total of $1,900 for Arthritis Society Canada. Her initiative is an inspiration for others to give and raise awareness about this disease that impacts one in five Canadians. You can follow her lead and get involved by creating your own Move Your Way fundraiser, too.