The organizers and volunteers of one annual summer treat in the Three Village school district were determined to make sure its eighth annual event would still go on as planned Aug. 3, despite the coronavirus.
For seven years the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand has raised funds for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Program and this year was no different. Despite state guidelines mandating that events be kept to a reduced capacity, the event’s founders, Maddie and Joseph Mastriano, knew they could figure out how to still hold the fundraiser on the grounds of R.C. Murphy Junior High School.
While they knew it wouldn’t be the same, the Mastrianos planned two options for residents to contribute. Earlier in the day Aug. 3, they set up a drive-through lemonade stand at the junior school with a reduced number of volunteers wearing masks and gloves. Attendees were required to stay in their cars, and tents were staggered throughout the school’s bus circle. The drive-through event included prepackaged lemonade to go, do-it-yourself lemonade kits, raffles, sandwiches for sale by Chick-fil-A and a merchandise tent.
In the evening, the young people hosted a virtual fundraiser on the streaming platform Twitch. During the virtual event, they announced raffle winners as well as the District Lemonheads, Minnesauke Elementary, which is the Three Village school that raised the most money for the cause.
Maddie Mastriano said they had to come up with creative ideas this year and support from their sponsors was a big help as well as the students who competed in the District Lemonheads competition. The students grand total was $8,982.69. Minnesauke student raised $3,258 of the total.
There was also a chance to play along on a Minecraft server built by Joseph Mastriano and his friends. The Minecraft world included a virtual lemonade stand that featured the junior high school and game for participants to play.
Last year the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand exceeded their goal of $40,000. This yea, so far, the fundraiser brought in nearly $30,000, and donations are still being accepted at www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.
Mastriano said they are thankful to everyone.
“We know that the pandemic has changed many things in our lives, but we are so glad that the lemonade stand was able to continue on this year with our annual tradition,” she said.