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9-year-old steps up for classroom

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RECEIPT: Sophie proudly shows her receipt after she bought 36 notebooks, 51 folders, and a multitude of glue sticks, pencils, markers.
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STAND: Sophie and her brother Skyler sit behind their lemonade stand which raised $112.55 toward school supplies for Flint Springs Elementary School.

by James Ehle - jehle@chronicle-tribune.com

When Shannon Miller’s daughter Sophie asked if she could have a lemonade stand she didn’t expect her daughter would donate the proceeds to her school.

“I was thinking ‘what toy does she want now,’” said Miller. “So I asked her ‘what are you going to do with the money you make?’ She replied, ‘I’m gonna donate it to my school.’”

With her mother’s permission Sophie and her brother Skyler made posters and set up shop on Aug. 3. The 9-year-old spent eight hours selling lemonade to neighbors, friends, teachers, and some police officers. At the end of the day she had raked in $112.55. A few of Shannon’s friends donated another $15 and a bag of school supplies in addition to the lemonade stand’s sum.

“I was incredibly surprised,” Miller said. “Part of the reason that she made so much besides the fact that we had signs saying she was donating it, she had a tip jar beside her regular cash box so they would pay for their lemonade and they would tip her or they would say ‘keep the change’”

After they cleaned up the lemonade stand, Shannon, Sophie and Skyler headed to Wal-Mart where they purchased enough items to fill a receipt “at least 1.5 feet long” according to Miller. The money raised purchased more than 400 items, including 36 notebooks, 51 folders, and a multitude of glue sticks, pencils, markers and more.

They brought the items to Flint Springs Elementary School’s back to school event on Tuesday evening.

“She had this huge tote,” Miler said. “We had to bring a wagon to school so she could carry the tote inside.”

Sophie and her brother Skyler are involved in Scouts and are frequently doing different projects. Miller says the idea for a lemonade stand likely was planted when they stopped at a stand on their way home from vacation in Wisconsin, but it was all Sophie’s idea to give back.

“I found this new phrase ‘leave a little sparkle wherever you go’ and that’s what I try to get my kids to do,” Miller said.

They set up the lemonade stand just before 11 a.m. and only intended to sell until two p.m. Just before they started to close up, an influx of people pulled into the parking lot of a Catholic church across the street.

“People were like ‘we’ll come after the wedding’ so we held out and then they had mass at five and we held out for that,” Miller said. “I think her last customer ended up being around seven o’clock.”

Many of the customers were happy to see a lemonade stand again and teachers were “thrilled” and congratulated Sophie on the stands success according to Miller.

“Not a lot of people have seen lemonade stands and for her to have a lemonade stand and be donating the money was really great.”