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When Sandra Maldonado-Bonilla’s children, six-year-old Rita and seven-year-old Misael Bonilla wanted to go see the Disney movie Inside Out, she told them that they would need to raise their own money to go.

But then Misael came up with an idea: Why not sell Kool-Aid and lemonade at a stand in front of their house for a few days and see if they can raise the money to go. They didn’t realize what kind of response they would get from the community.

The first day, three Racine Police officers stopped by the stand to buy Kool-Aid, then Joanne Haysmer-Wachs saw a story on another media site and she came out to help the kids by buying them more supplies.

“They were so excited to have so many people stop by,” Maldonado-Bonilla said.

Haysmer-Wachs ended up spending a good part of the day with the kids.

“I’m the cheerleader,” she said. “I just wanted to come out and help these kids.”

Haysmer-Wachs spent the day helping the kids drum up business by waving down traffic and keeping the kids enthusiastic about the sale. Misael, however, became a little disappointed that not every car along Racine Street stopped. Still, a slow trickle of neighbors continued to come to the stand to buy a 50 cent cup of lemonade, including Keyanda, 26, who brought little two-year-old Mari to the lemonade stand for some refreshment.

By the end of the week, the family had made enough money to go to the movies.

“They saw Inside Out. And yes I know my daughter keeps telling me that she loves how she made people smile and she like learning how to make the lemonade and sharing smiles,” Maldonado-Bonilla said.

 

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.