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Lemonade stand raises funds for food shelf

Jonas Franti, a seven-year-old from Virginia, turned a visit to his grandparents into something beneficial for the Perham community by raising money for the local food shelf

A seven-year-old boy who was in town to visit his grandparents decided to do something really sweet – with a really sour fruit – while he was here.

Jonas Franti, of Rixeyville, Virg., wanted to do more with his time in Perham than simply relax or play. He wanted to help people; especially people in need of food.

So he told his grandparents, Denny and Karen Rosen, that he wanted to have a lemonade stand in order to raise money for the Perham Community Food Shelf. After talking it over with his parents and friends, he decided to ask for a donation rather than charge for the lemonade.

Along with free lemonade and water, he decided to give away Rice Krispie bars and freeze pops.

Franti’s grandpa helped him make a sign for the lemonade stand, and his grandma made the bars. They positioned the stand at the side of Little Pine Road. With help from his little brother, Ewen, and his cousins, Franti opened for business.

As it turned out, his very first patron was Liz Swanson, a local resident and current food shelf board member.

The boys’ mother, Gretchen Franti, said people kept coming by and donations continued to grow. At the end, people were cleaning out the change in their cars and giving Franti more than his little hands could carry. There were others who stopped by just to donate and didn’t ask for anything in return.

Donations given at the lemonade stand raised $124.64 for the food shelf, according to Director John Leikness.