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Maddie Mastriano

A lemon was squeezed for the last time during a popular local fundraising event Aug. 9.

The Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand held its ninth and final event at R.C. Murphy Junior High School. Founders Joseph and Maddie Mastriano, shown above with Three Village school district Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich, began selling lemonade with friends to raise funds for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Child Life Services back in 2013 in front of their home.

After hundreds of customers bought lemonade from them in 2016, they knew they needed a new location. In 2017, the event was held for the first time at the junior high school.

Over the years the Mastrianos and their fellow student-volunteers have raised more than $140,000 with $31,000 coming from this year’s fundraising.

In 2020, the siblings were unable to hold the carnival-type day they typically organize due to COVID-19 restrictions and opted for a drive-thru lemonade stand and virtual event. This year the Mastrianos extended the day once again offering the virtual event in the evening for those who were unable to donate during the afternoon.

Both graduates of Ward Melville High School, the Mastriano siblings are preparing for their futures. Maddie, who just turned 21, is attending Loyola University in Maryland and is a rising senior. Joseph graduated from high school in June and is set to attend Stony Brook University in the fall.

Donations can still be made at www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

Joseph Mastriano, third from left back row, and Maddie Mastriano, second from right in back row, with friends during their first lemonade stand fundraising event in Stony Brook’s S-section in 2013. Photo by Alyssa Melillo

It’s been said that all good things must come to an end.

Joseph and Maddie in 2017 when the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand was first held on the grounds of R.C. Murphy Junior High School. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Joseph and Maddie Mastriano, organizers of the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand fundraising event, are currently planning the ninth and last one. The annual event, which to date has raised more than $100,000 for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, will be held Aug. 9 at R.C. Murphy Junior High School.

Maddie, who will be turning 21, is attending Loyola University in Maryland and is a rising senior majoring in advertising and public relations. Joseph recently graduated from Ward Melville High School and is set to attend Stony Brook University in the fall. While he is undecided on his major, he is minoring in video game design.

The Mastrianos said the lemonade stand will leave them with tons of good memories due to the community members, local athletes and even celebrities who came out to show their support.

“I like to see everybody who comes to support us,” Joseph said, adding he realizes many are going out of their way from work or taking time out of their busy days.

Maddie added that friends and families have even come out of state from New Jersey and Connecticut to show their support. One highlight through the years was Chef Barret Beyer, from “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 11, helping them make a special fruit lemonade.

She said visits from Cheryl Pedisich, Three Village Central School District superintendent, are always appreciated as she has supported the endeavor since the beginning. Maddie added she also loves it when Joan Alpers, director of Child Life Services at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, stops by.

Alpers said Joseph and Maddie are “amazing young people with, I imagine, extremely wonderful careers in front of them.” She said while the ending of the annual event is bittersweet, she hopes more young people will be inspired by the Mastrianos’ work.

“I’m so excited for all the good work that Maddie and Joseph have done, and I’m wishing Joseph a wonderful college career, and at the same time it’s bittersweet,” Alpers said. “We have had such a great connection with them, and we’ve not only enjoyed them but they’ve been so helpful in the community for us. But we understand that kids need to move on.”

Children playing with lemonade-colored slime at the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand Aug. 8, 2018. Photo by Amanda Perelli

The fundraising event began in August of 2013 when the siblings decided to make lemonade and sell it outside their home with some friends. At first, they thought of splitting the few dollars raised between friends, but their mother suggested donating it to charity and they chose the local children’s hospital.

“If I were to go back into my 11-year-old self, I don’t think I would have imagined this lasting more than a summer,” Maddie said. “I couldn’t have seen it going the way it’s progressed, and I think it’s just a reflection of the community.”

Formerly known as the S-Section Kids Lemonade Stand, the booth attracted more and more people each year. Hundreds of residents from all over the school district and even local celebrities came to their home in 2016. Knowing that the lemonade stand was attracting too many people for a neighborhood booth, the Mastrianos moved the event to the grounds of R. C. Murphy Junior High School in 2017, and 500 people attended over the course of another hot August day. Besides lemonade, the kids have expanded to offer food, activities and live music, and also in 2017 they were among TBR News Media’s People of the Year.

Also, that year, the siblings began finding sponsors for the event. Many local businesses as well as larger ones such as Chick-fil-A and Island Federal Credit Union pitched in to help.

Bret Sears, president and CEO of IFCU, in an email statement said the Mastrianos approached them a few years ago. 

“Remarkable is the word that comes to mind when asked about Maddie and Joseph Mastriano,” Sears said. “Two young kids who had a goal of helping those at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, and who have let nothing stop them from doing just that — not even a pandemic. When Island met them a few years ago and learned about their cause, it touched our hearts, and we knew becoming their corporate sponsor was something we needed to do.  It just felt right.  They certainly are two role models whom the youth of our communities should strive to emulate, and we are truly proud to call them our partner.”

In addition to all their sponsors and volunteers, the siblings said they are especially grateful for their parents and the support they have given them from their first lemonade stand.

“They’re just so supportive, and I don’t know who else would just willingly give up their front yard like they did those first couple years,” Maddie said.

She added that their parents have always been there to help to drive them around and in any way they could before, during and after the event.

“They just help us do everything they possibly could with keeping us as the lead and letting us guide them,” she said.

Maddie said it’s been surreal seeing some of the volunteers growing up, from elementary school children to young teenagers in middle school.

“It’s really cool to see how we’ve helped impact others and helped shape them wanting to give back to others in the community,” she said.

Joseph echoed the sentiment.

Police officers from Suffolk County Police Department’s 6th Precinct enjoy some lemonade in 2019. Photo by Rita J. Egan

“It’s just a nice experience to see how much everybody really cares about helping the community,” he said. “I love seeing the teamwork of all of our volunteers trying to make the event better, and then I love seeing just random community members coming in to try to help us.”

One volunteer who has been helping out the last few years is neighbor Courtney DeVerna, 11. Courtney said while she is sad that it’s ending, she is also proud of everything the lemonade stand accomplished.

“I just think that Joseph and Maddie are great people for doing this for so long,” Courtney said.

She remembers going to the lemonade stand when it was first held in front of the Mastrianos’ house.

“My mom told me when you get older, you’ll be able to volunteer, and I felt like I could do something for the community, and it was not only that, it was just so much fun,” she said.

Maddie said Aug. 9 will be an emotional day.

“Everyone uniting for the cause that we find so special — it’s amazing,” she said. “It’s hard to put into words.”

Last year, the siblings along with family members and friends were able to hold the event in a modified way despite the COVID-19 pandemic. During the afternoon, they hosted a drive-thru event at Murphy with fewer volunteers and later that day a virtual event that featured a Minecraft version of the stand. Despite the changes, the lemonade stand raised $35,000 for the children’s hospital.

As of now, the Mastrianos said they have to follow the same format this year but, if guidelines change, they do have a plan for a more traditional event. The goal is to raise $50,000 this year and fundraising has already begun with a GoFundMe page and teams from each school who are vying for the annual Lemonhead award that is given out to the team that raises the most money.

The siblings said they won’t forget how the community, elected officials, student-athletes and more who have supported them. Most of all they have been left with life lessons.

For Maddie, she said working on the lemonade stand shaped her college major as she has created the graphics for the posters and T-shirts.

“I think it really has helped me see that I can do advertising in the future if I really want to,” Maddie said. “I don’t know if that’s the path I’m gonna take, but it has shown me that I’m capable of doing that if I end up wanting to.”

For Joseph, he said it has helped him get out of his shell.

“I was a very, very shy kid,” he said. “I still kind of am, but the lemonade stand definitely threw me out there into the world.”

For more information, visit: www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

It may have started in front of their Stony Brook home, but now the Mastrianos’ lemonade stand is a community event raising thousands each year for a good cause.

The 7th annual Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand was back at R.C. Murphy Junior High School for the third year Aug. 5. The event, founded by siblings Maddie and Joseph Mastriano, had the help of dozens of student volunteers from the Three Village Central School District.

More than 500 attended to buy 50-cent cups of lemonade and other treats. There were games to be played, music from School of Rock students and Stony Brook University athletes visiting.

Sales from the lemonade stand benefit Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. The goal of $40,000 was exceeded by the end of the day.

For more information or to make an online donation, visit www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

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Stony Brook siblings host sixth annual Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand

By Amanda Perelli

What was once a simple lemonade stand in front of a Stony Brook house, has turned into a sweet community-driven event raising thousands each year.

The 6th annual Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand was back at R.C. Murphy Junior High School for the second year on Aug. 8. The event was founded by siblings Maddie and Joseph Mastriano with help from dozens of student volunteers from the Three Village school district.

Fifty-cent cups of lemonade were poured by young student volunteers and kids played games with athletes from Stony Brook University teams. Sales from the lemonade stand benefit Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. At the event, $24,609 was raised and donations were still coming in after Aug. 8. As of Aug. 15, the organizers reached their goal of $30,000.

For more information or to make an online donation, visit www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com or www.gofundme.com/2018-3village-kids-lemonade-stand.

Maddie and Joseph Mastriano and friends present a check for $20,000 to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital after their 2017 Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand event. Photo from Laura Mastriano

Two Stony Brook teens have perfected how to turn lemons into lemonade for a worthy cause.

Maddie Mastriano, 17, and her younger brother Joseph Mastriano, 14, started off just wanting to sell lemonade outside their home one hot August day in 2013. At the time, the pair never imagined their venture would grow, or how it would grow.

The first year they thought of splitting the few dollars raised between friends, but their mother suggested donating it to charity. Since then the Mastrianos and their friends have raised $36,000 for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital with their Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand — $20,000 of that amount from this past summer alone.

Laura Mastriano said her children caught the fundraising bug after the first time they handed over the money to Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, so they decided to make it a yearly tradition.

Siblings Joseph and Maddie Mastriano are the founders of the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand. Photo from Laura Mastriano

Formerly known as the S-Section Kids Lemonade Stand, the booth attracted hundreds of residents from all over the school district and even local celebrities to their home in 2016, according to Mastriano. The event was moved to the grounds of R. C. Murphy Junior High School, where Joseph is a student, in 2017, and 500 people attended over the course of another hot August day. Besides lemonade, the kids have expanded to offer food, activities and live music. Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) presented them with a proclamation, and celebrity chef Barrett Beyer of “Hell’s Kitchen” made an appearance and even some gourmet lemonade for attendees.

Mastriano said it was necessary to move the lemonade stand to the school grounds due to its growing popularity, and it made sense because of the number of student volunteers from the Three Village Central School District. Maddie and Joseph approached school board trustee Inger Germano about the idea, who said she thought it was a good plan, and the district agreed to host it.

“We thought this would be a great opportunity to get more children involved, not just from the S-Section [neighborhood] but from the Three Village community and the school,” Germano said. “I think it was the right move.”

Courtney DeVerna, 7 years old, has been volunteering at the stand for the last three years, having visited the stand with her mother Lisa since she was 2. As soon as Courtney understood it was a fundraiser, she wanted to help and even practices her lemonade pouring before the event.

“It’s really fun and exciting because you’re waiting to do it for a while, and it’s for a good cause,” said Courtney, adding she looks up to Joseph and Maddie. “We’re giving the money to the children’s hospital, which makes me more excited.”

The siblings are always coming up with new ideas, according to their mother, so to help reach the pair’s 2017 fundraising goal of $20,000, the brother and sister solicited the help of sponsors, including fast-food chain Chick-fil-A. The idea came to them after noticing that many fundraisers partnered with local companies.

Recently, Maddie, Joseph and friends participated in the Three Village Holiday Electric Light Parade to promote their fundraising venture. Joseph said during the school year they work on their website, research ideas on how to make the next event better, ensure everyone who helped is thanked and sign community service letters for the 150 student volunteers.

“We know how busy everyone is, and we are so thankful and glad they helped,” he said.

Maddie and Joseph pose with Mr. Met at this year’s lemonade stand. Photo from Laura Mastiano

Maddie, who is a senior at Ward Melville High School, said she plans on continuing the tradition even though she will be away at college next year. The siblings have already set a new goal, hoping  to eventually raise $100,000 in total for the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

“Next year Joseph will take on a bigger role in the planning while I am away, but I know he has things under control and actually has really great ideas already,” Maddie said. “We will do whatever we have to do to make sure this community tradition is an annual tradition. We are thankful for the community, for the support and for the opportunity to come together to turn lemons into lemonade together for the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.”

Their mother said they each bring different talents to the table. Maddie hopes to major in communications when she attends college, and Joseph is good with numbers.

“That’s where they complement each other,” their mother said. “He’s business, and she’s the communications part of it. It’s pretty fun to see that.”

Joan Alpers, director of Child Life Services at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, said Joseph and Maddie are creating a legacy in their district.

“Both of them are outstanding, mature, bright and polite kids, and very humble for everything that they do,” Alpers said. “They’re so professional to groups and the community. They’re able to pull off putting together something that is much larger than most people their age could pull off.”

Their mother said she and her husband Joseph still can’t believe how popular the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand has become.

“I have to say that I am beyond proud and blown away by all their efforts,” the mother said. “It really was a small lemonade stand that has grown into a beautiful community tradition, and it’s something that I am not only proud of, seeing what they’ve accomplished, but proud of what all of these kids in Three Village have been able to do. It’s contagious wanting to do good for others, and I think that starting so young really has infected others to want to do good for the kids in the hospital. It’s a pretty incredible thing.”

For more information, visit the website, www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com. The next Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2018.

Joseph and Maddie Mastriano, co-founders of Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand, held the fifth annual fundraising event at R.C. Murphy Junior High School. Photo by Rita J. Egan

By Rita J. Egan

Thirteen-year-old Joseph and 17-year-old Maddie Mastriano turned lemons into lemonade and then turned a lemonade stand into an annual fundraising event that has raised thousands for Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

The Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand event was held on the grounds of R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook Aug. 2. What started as a simple lemonade stand in front of the Mastrianos’ home one hot day five years ago has turned into a summer event that draws hundreds from the local community to show their support.

Maddie said when she and her brother set up their first lemonade stand, neighborhood children helped them out. They sold lemonade for 50 cents, and at the end of the day, they weren’t sure how to split the few dollars they made amongst 16 kids. Their mother suggested giving the money to a charity, and they decided to donate the money to the children’s hospital since it was in the area.

Volunteers set up the lemonade stand. Photo from Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand

Through the years, the lemonade stand, formerly known as the S-Section Kids Lemonade Stand, began to draw more customers when neighbors discovered through word of mouth that the Mastrianos were donating the money. After serving nearly 500 customers last summer, the family approached the Three Village school district this year to see if the annual event could be held at one of the school’s properties, and the district agreed.

While their first lemonade stand enlisted the help of various neighborhood children, this year’s event included more than 100 volunteers from the school district.

“It’s amazing to know that all those people want to help out with this cause,” Maddie said.

Among the volunteers were the siblings’ cousins Sierra Edwards, 14, Savanna Edwards, 11, and Zoie Mastriano, 11. The girls were helping out at the T-shirt table, and they all said they were amazed at what their relatives had accomplished.

“I don’t know any young kids who have done something like this before,” Zoie said.

At press time, the Mastriano siblings raised more than $19,000 towards their 2017 goal of $20,000. In addition to local residents attending their Aug. 2 event, donations were accepted on their website, and the siblings solicited the help of sponsors. Maddie said they noticed various fundraisers that partnered with companies so she and her brother decided to approach local businesses.

Maddie said it feels good to give back. It’s something she and her brother have learned from her parents who she said are always helping out wherever they can and have been a good influence.

While the event has turned into more than selling lemonade, with corporate sponsors, the Setauket Fire Department on hand giving demonstrations, and the Ward Melville alumni band SWIM performing, the siblings said they enjoy donating their time. Maddie said they think of the children in the hospital who don’t have the chance to enjoy their summer vacation like they do. 

“This is our way of giving back,” Maddie said. “We give them one day of ours to possibly give them summers in the future.”

The Mastriano siblings receiving a proclamation from Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Town Clerk Donna Lent. Photo from Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand

The Mastrianos estimated that 400 people stopped by throughout the day including Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine and Town Clerk Donna Lent, presenting them with a proclamation; celebrity chef Barrett Beyer of Hell’s Kitchen, making gourmet lemonade; Mr. Met, greeting guests; and Stony Brook University men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams. Three Village Central School District Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich and board Trustee Inger Germano also stopped by.

County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who grew up in the Three Village school district, has attended the event for the last few years.

“It has been exciting to see it grow and evolve, from block to neighborhood to community event in such a short time,” Hahn said in an email. “This annual event highlights the generosity of spirit within the Three Village community and the compassion of its organizers and volunteers. It is reaffirming to see children and teenagers work so enthusiastically, and with such empathy, to try and ease the suffering of others.” 

Joan Alpers, director of Child Life Services at Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, attended the event and delivered a short speech. She said the funds the children raised will go towards programs such as horticulture therapy, art therapy and music therapy for children plus relaxation sessions for stressed parents.

Alpers said she is amazed by Joseph and Maddie’s work and the community’s support of the children.

“I just think it’s really phenomenal that kids did this one year but then had the resources to do it again and to grow it each year,” Alpers said. “That takes skill, dedication and a special human spirit for a young person.” 

Maddie and Joseph’s father Joseph Mastriano, who was volunteering at the event, said he is proud of his children.

“It teaches them lessons they don’t necessarily learn in school,” the father said. “They went out on their own and solicited different businesses. I think it’s a good experience for them all around.”

Next year’s lemonade stand is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2018 at R.C. Murphy Junior High School. For more information about Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand or to donate, visit www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.

Volunteers at last year’s Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand event. Photo from Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand

The fifth annual Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand will take place Aug. 2 from 2 to 6 p.m. With permission from the Three Village Central School District, this will be the first year that co-founders, siblings Maddie and Joseph Mastriano, will have the lemonade stand on the grounds of R.C. Murphy Junior High School instead of in front of their home.

The organizers anticipate visits from celebrity Chef Barret Beyer from the television series Hell’s Kitchen, team members from the Stony Brook University men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams and the Long Island Rough Riders. There will also be a performance by the local student band Swim.

Sales from the lemonade stand benefit  Stony Brook Children’s Hospital. Last year 70 student volunteers from the school district were on hand to help out, and customers included members of the New York Islanders, the Long Island Ducks and local legislators.

In addition to lemonade being available, the day will include games and activities for all ages and raffles.

Rain date is August 3. R.C. Murphy Junior High School is located at 351 Oxhead Road, Stony Brook. For more information or to make an online donation, visit www.threevillagekidslemonadestand.com.