Aiding with lemonade

9-year-old, neighborhood friends raise $2,500 for family whose house burned

Posted: Sunday, June 07, 2009

Over the past week, 9-year-old Ezra Geselle and his neighborhood friends have given their time and effort to raise money for a family in need.

When Geselle learned that the house across the street - belonging to family friends Ryan Stanley, his wife, Laura Hosey, and their 2-year-old daughter - burned down Monday, he told his mother, "We need to have a lemonade sale." And he did.

"They lost pretty much everything, so I just wanted to help them," Geselle said.

Geselle's lemonade stand, at the corner of 8th Street and Basin Road, has been up since Tuesday, when it raised about $800. Now it's raised up to $2,500.

"I hope they can re-make their life, just start living regular again," Geselle said of the family. "I hope they can get back their stuff, maybe not the stuff because it burned, but just rebuild their house."

Geselle's mother, Annie Geselle, said Ezra made a 6-foot sign for the stand, and even neighborhood kids have come by to help out and do shifts.

"It's a lot of work they put in - a lot of lemon-squeezing," she said.

Ezra Geselle said he got the idea from the Juneau Charter School, where kindergarten and first-grade teacher Linda Torgerson conducts an annual lemonade sale and donates the proceeds to a cause.

"I said to the K-1 teacher, 'We have to have another lemonade sale for this family's house that burned down,'" Ezra Geselle said. "But that was only like four days ago, so we couldn't do one because it was the end of school. So, I just had to do one myself."

Ezra Geselle has done many lemonade stands just for himself and his friends, so he pretty much knows the ropes.

"But now that something bad happened for my friends, I'm going to do it for them," he said. "So, you should come and stop by. We'll be open all weekend."

Ezra's mother said the hot weather all week has been perfect for their sale.

"I'm just really proud of Ezra," she said. "It's been really great to see."

For a photo of Ezra Geselle's lemonade stand, see Wednesday's Empire:

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