Amy Cunningham

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Kayleigh Demaline and her two friends wanted to do something to help the victims from last

Joelle Bortz, Kayleigh Demaline, and Quincy Smith sell lemonade to benefit victims of the Joplin tornado on May 26. By 2 p.m. the girls had raised $31.66. Staff photo by Amy Cunningham

week’s tornado in Joplin, so Thursday the group decided to set up shop in the driveway of a neighbor and sell lemonade to passersby.

By 2 p.m. the trio had netted $31.66 to be sent to the American Red Cross to put toward the tornado relief effort.

“We just want to raise am much money as we can raise,” said Joelle Bortz, who is loaning out her parents’ driveway on West Colleen Drive in the Fountain Gate subdivision to host the lemonade sale.

The three said that they were inspired by the actions of another boy they heard about who went door to door collecting goods to send to those affected by the storms. They weren’t sure what to do when Demaline’s parents came up with the idea to sell the refreshing summer drink for donations.

“I was just heartbroken when I saw (the damage sustained by Joplin),” said one of the stand’s operators, Quincy Smith. She said the three couldn’t help but get involved in the relief efforts.  “We were in a tornado warning, too, so it could’ve just as easily been us.”

Jessica Vaughan purchases a cup of lemonade from Quincy Smith Thursday afternoon. Smith and two friends set up shop in hopes of collecting funds to send to victims of the Joplin tornado. Staff photo by Amy Cunningham

While they didn’t have financial goals when they started the day, the group has been astounded by the generosity of others. They even managed to make a sale to a vendor who was passing through the neighborhood trying to drum up business of his own.

“Some people pull up and they don’t buy lemon aide, but they give us a donation,” said Demaline.

“Even the ice cream man,” added Bortz.

Neighbors have been receptive to the girls’ efforts.

“They’re giving all the money to the tornado victims, I thought it was a really neat thing they were doing,” said neighbor Joyce Murray.

By the end of the day the trio netted $178.09 to donate to the American Red Cross.