Lemonade stand enters seventh year of helping Humane Society
By Mary Kathryn Carpenter
Mae Holyoak is an 11-year-old out to save the world, one lemon at a time.
Six years ago, Mae started the Mae and Friends’ Lemonade Stand dedicated to helping the animals of Adams County, and the results were beyond her expectations.
“Because I thought of it when I was little, I didn’t know it would grow so much,” Mae said. “I didn’t expect (the lemonade stand) to be so helpful.”
Mae’s first lemonade stand earned about $275, all of which she donated to the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.
“Mae wanted to have a lemonade sale, and I suggested she donate the money because there wasn’t anything she really needed, and we really wanted her to think and do for others,” said Ginna Holyoak, Mae’s mother. “Animals are our strongest passion, so I suggested she donate the money to the humane society. Her goal was to buy one dog bed, but she was able to buy three.”
The young philanthropist has since added baked goods to the menu as well as T-shirts and arts and crafts, with all proceeds benefiting furry friends in need.
Mae is aware of the issues the shelter faces and is happy to lend a hand.
“When the shelter gets donations it helps get food and stuff for the animals,” Mae said. “It saves a lot of lives. Instead of the money being used to put animals down, it helps them live. I think it’s sweet to help the shelter because when I go over there I feel sad for the animals, and the money we raise helps them get placed in a better environment. If people want to come out and help, it would be really nice.”
Mae, along with several of her friends, has collected approximately $18,000 for the NACHS in the past six years.
Mae started the lemonade stand by herself, but has received more and more help from friends each year.
This year, Mae is expecting the help of 10 friends while manning the lemonade stand.
Last year, the group raised approximately $10,000 through sponsors and sales and plans to top that later this month.
Kathy Fitch, NACHS board president, assures the money the children raise will be put to good use.
“The kids donate to the general operating fund,” Fitch said. “It is the fund that pays for food, medical care and the day-to-day expenses of keeping the doors open and keeping animals ready for adoption. If we don’t get donations like that, then everything stops.”
Fitch also finds hope for the future of Adams County animals in Mae and her friends.
“The most wonderful part is that these kids care so much,” Fitch said. “They are the future humane society board members and the future of animal care in our region.”
Mae is the daughter of John and Ginna Holyoak.
Mae and Friends’ Lemonade Stand will set up shop in front of the Natchez Convention Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m Friday, July 25.
Lemonade and cookies are each $1 and T-shirts are $15.