Lemonade stand goes for $70K total

Published 12:25 am Thursday, July 27, 2017

By Lyndy Berryhill

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — When life gave 14-year-old Mae Holyoak lemons, she did not just make lemonade; she made a difference.

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Holyoak is hoping to reach a new fundraising goal of $70,000 for the Natchez Adams Humane Society with her 10th annual Mae and Friends Lemonade Stand this Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in front of the Natchez Convention Center.

Her lemonade stand is the opening event of the Natchez Food and Wine Festival taking place Friday through Sunday.

“I am the ‘animal person’ out of all of my friends,” Holyoak said.

One glass at a time, Holyoak and other volunteers have raised a total of $53,000. This year, Holyoak said she wants to be the most successful year yet by meeting their goal of $17,000.

Each glass costs just $1, but Holyoak’s father John Holyoak said it is not uncommon for thirsty customers to pay more when they are supportive of the stand’s cause. They also sell baked goods and artwork at stand.

Mae Holyoak was 5 years old when her mother, Ginna Holyoak, suggested they sell lemonade at Dunleith Historic Inn’s front desk, where her father is the general manager.

“I’ve grown up with animals,” Mae Holyoak said. “They’ve been an important part of my upbringing.”

Mae Holyoak said she could just barely remember when she began the stand. She remembers talking to her mother about raising money for better dog beds at the shelter, which they accomplished.

Last year’s proceeds went toward the Natchez dog park.

John Holyoak estimates they have sold more than 50 gallons of lemonade, which they mix themselves.

For the past couple of years, the lemonade mix has been donated as well as the T-shirts the volunteers wear.

The Holyoak family has six dogs, which have been adopted or rescued.

They volunteer year-round for the shelter as often as they can. In addition to the annual lemonade stand, Mae’s mother also cooks spaghetti for the Spay-ghetti and No Balls Lunch each summer, which promotes spaying and neutering pets.

Mae Holyoak volunteered Wednesday morning at the shelter before heading to the Natchez Rotary Club meeting with her father to promote the stand as well.

Her parents said they find their daughter’s enthusiasm for charity “pretty spectacular.”

“We know she has her heart in the right place,” John Holyoak said. “She’s very dedicated to the animals in Adams County.”