If you’re shopping at the Chappaqua Farmers Market this Saturday and you’re a little bit thirsty, there’s a place you can go to for a cold drink while contributing to a great cause.
Chappaqua residents Jenna and Rebecca Blum will return for the sixth consecutive year with the Blum Sisters Lemonade Stand. Proceeds will once again be donated to the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.
“It’s been really fun to do and it’s really good to know that you’re helping out other children, and I guess it’s a lot of prep, a lot of phone calls to other places but the finished product is really good,” said Rebecca Blum, who is finishing her freshman year at Horace Greeley High School.
The idea for the stand was originally proposed by Jenna, 11, now a fifth-grader at Seven Bridges Middle School, when she was about five years old. At that time, she just wanted to have a lemonade stand on their block, but living on a quiet street, her mother, Holly, said they wouldn’t get many customers.
Instead, she proposed to her daughters setting up the stand in a high traffic area and to do it for charity.
The suggestion has worked out well. In the previous five years, the Blum sisters have raised $8,500, operating one Saturday at the farmers market in June each year. This Saturday, they are poised to top the $10,000 mark.
“It’s really satisfying because we do a lot of work but at the end of the day it’s the end result that counts,” said Jenna. “I would do tons and tons more work to have that effect on kids.”
Under the guidelines of the farmers market, the night before the sisters will hand squeeze at least a couple hundred lemons, enough to produce about 10 gallons of lemonade. Then they have to mix the lemon juice with sugar.
They have received the materials free of charge, including cups and ice, from Stop & Shop in Mount Kisco. Previously, Applebee’s was a sponsor.
Holly Blum said her daughters, who also partner with other youngsters in the fall for the Great Chappaqua Bake Sale at the Chappaqua Book Festival each year raising money to combat hunger, have risen to the challenge by helping others.
“They liked it so much that they’ve continued through the years and the personal connection makes it more meaningful,” said Holly Blum.
That connection is the death of their maternal grandfather, Papa Neal, who died from brain cancer in 2016. This year, the sisters are dedicating all of the proceeds, which they hope will reach at least $2,000, to go toward pediatric brain cancer research.
“One idea can make a big difference in other people’s lives,” Jenna said. “It’s hard to put it into words, but this one idea can save thousands of people’s lives when otherwise they wouldn’t have money for the treatment. Now they’ll be able to be treated and live.”
New this year is a guessing jar filled with lemon heads, an added bonus to try and raise some additional funds, Rebecca said. For $1 a guess, the person who gets closest to the actual number of lemon heads, will win the jar and its contents, she said.
For anyone stopping by the Blum Sisters Lemonade Stand on Saturday, the donation for a cup of lemonade is entirely the person’s discretion.
The Chappaqua Farmers Market is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chappaqua train station. Those who will be unable to stop by, can make a donation to the charity by visiting www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1704565.