Three local children found it in their hearts to raise money for the 100 Mile House Food Bank Society last week by setting up a lemonade stand together on Birch Avenue. Annie and Allie Gauvin are just eight years old, but with the help of their friend Nicholas Bryant, who is 11, the three friends spent some time together raising funds for their community.
In a single day spent out front of the tanning salon owned by the Gauvin twins’ parents, the three young friends managed to raise $137.60 in total, which they presented to the 100 Mile House Food Bank Society later in the week.
Jen Van Dorpel is Nicholas Bryant’s mother. Nicholas will enter Grade 6 at 100 Mile Elementary in the fall.
“He raised $83.30 all by himself,” after taking over for the twins on the afternoon of July 11, said Van Dorpel. She explained that the three children know each other through their parents’ mutual involvement at the salon.
“[Nicholas] decided to help out on his own. I was actually supposed to drop him off earlier in the day, but I forgot to,” she recalls.
After the twin girls had to leave on Thursday afternoon, it was Nicholas running the lemonade stand by himself for the rest of the day: “He stayed out there until I think 4:15 p.m.”
“He loved it,” said Van Dorpel. “He loved supporting the community and doing something for the community and wanting to help. With Nicholas, he is so thoughtful and has the biggest heart and would help anybody if he could.”
Van Dorpel remembers a time when the family attended Nicholas’ older sister’s wedding, and the young man displayed another act of kindness, seemingly out of nowhere.
“We went into Walmart,” she said, “And he wanted cookies and this and that, so I let him buy it. But it actually wasn’t for him. There was a homeless man sitting outside of Walmart and he just walked the bag over and gave it to him. That wasn’t his plan, he just said to his older sister Victoria, ‘Watch this’.”
“That’s kind of what he does,” explained Nicholas’ mother. She said that her son has already asked if he can set up another lemonade stand soon to raise funds for his community in a similar way.
“It was beautiful, just absolutely beautiful,” said the food bank’s secretary and treasurer, Lyndamae McNabb.
McNabb and Bob Hicks, executive director of the Food Bank Society, said that this sort of contribution from a group of young people hasn’t happened before in 100 Mile House, to their knowledge.
“It feels really good,” said McNabb, noting that it’s wonderful to see children being conscious of their community’s needs.
“I think it was very nice and a very great gesture on their part,” added Hicks. “I think it’s fabulous. I congratulate them and I put my arms out to them.”
The food bank is currently accepting donations of empty bottles, cans, and recycling. Locals who might like to make a donation in honour of the children’s efforts can drop their empties off at the recycling depot and request that those proceeds be donated to the food bank.