ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ) — An Altoona teen is holding her ninth annual lemonade stand for a good cause.
Altoona Area High School senior-to-be Julia McCauley is selling the sweet treat for 50 cents a cup every day until Friday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All money raised is going to the American Cancer Society.
You can visit her stand this week at 1037 2nd Ave in Altoona.
“I cannot wait to donate this year,” Julia said. “I love seeing the faces when I donate, especially when I tell them the amount we donate every year.”
Julia will write a big, human-sized check when the week ends to the cancer society with the value equaling the donations she collected. She has raised over $6,000 total in eight years — and $3,300 of that comes from just last summer.
She said word of mouth and social media have helped to spread awareness and more people are coming to donate more than just enough for lemonade.
She said local police departments have had battles to see which could donate more. She’s even had someone bring an entire coffee container filled with over $50 worth of coins. Another time, she said a woman didn’t have time to stop for lemonade and instead threw money to Julia out her car window.
“A lot of people tend to give more than just 50 cents,” Julia said. “I’ve gotten donations of over $100 before.”
Julia added she got her inspiration from her grandparents to start the tradition. Her grandmother beat cancer twice and her grandfather is now fighting his own battle with the disease.
“I was stressed, and I was worried that my grandmother might pass away, and I was super close with her,” Julia said. “So I knew I had to do something for the other families that were going through the same thing.”
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Before her lemonade efforts even started, Julia began collecting donations by selling pinecones and rocks from behind her house.
Her compassion for others and strangers goes farther than the lemonade stand. After her graduation from high school next June — and a little summer vacation time — she’ll be joining the Navy.
She said this year’s stand will most likely be her last — at least for a while.
“When I get back from the Navy, I’m definitely going to continue it,” Julia said.