Most 7-year-olds who set up a lemonade stand earn about $100, tops -- and that’s on a good day. Quinn Callander, a soon-to-be second-grader in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, brought in $54,000 with his mini-enterprise.
Quinn’s good pal Brayden Grozdanich has cerebral palsy, and after witnessing the pain Brayden was in during a stretch session, Quinn decided he wanted to find a way to help. Hoping to raise money so Brayden could receive a special surgical procedure, Quinn and his parents set up a lemonade stand and online campaign dubbed "My Buddy Brayden."
In a matter of days, they’d accrued enough for not only the operation, but also for many years of medical help for Brayden. Quinn says it was the least he could do for his pal.
“He’s been my friend since we were in kindergarten and grade one,” Quinn tells Ellen’s Good News. “We’re both lefties, we’re both 7 years old, and he’s fun to play with as well.”
Brayden has been experiencing great pain in his legs due to muscle tightness and spastic action from his condition. He requires a particular kind of surgery performed only in the US, which would loosen up his muscles with minimal invasive incisions. It costs about $20,000. Without help, Brayden’s family couldn’t afford it.
Initially, Quinn was on a mission to help, and grabbed a cardboard box, telling his parents he was going outside to set up shop. His father, Freddie Callander, told him that they’d build him a proper stand, and his mother, Heather Roney, was able to get supplies donated from local stores.
This past Sunday, the family put their official lemonade stand outside a grocery store, and thanks to several news stories, over 1,500 people showed up to donate.
“The store manager was completely blown away, he didn’t realize what he was signing up for,” Freddie says. “People were coming from within a 50-mile radius just to donate.”
The turnout was even more impressive considering it was raining.
“I just felt surprised,” Quinn says. “I thought the rain actually messed it up, but they didn’t care… a lot of different kinds of people came; firefighters, people from my school, and Beaver Scouts.”
At the stand alone, Quinn raised $23,000, but online contributions brought that total higher. At present, the balance comes to just shy of $55,000, which will help with Brayden's surgery, ongoing physiotherapy, and maybe even a specialized car down the road.
The operation is currently scheduled for August 7th in New Jersey, after which Quinn says the boys' playground romps will be a lot different.
“He’ll be able to play more, and run around more,” Quinn explains. “He’s not going to fall as much. We made up a game called Brayden Run. It’s sort of like tag. You just have to run away from Brayden, but it’s going to get a bit harder after his surgery. He’ll be able to catch me!”
If you’d like to contribute to Quinn’s fundraiser for Brayden, click here.