ACTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Veterans in York County have been working for years to build a monument and walkway for disabled people to go visit the Southern Maine Veterans Cemetery.
But they went through a slight hiccup in their plans when the town of Acton denied them its annual donation.
“When I'm with my kids, my kids and my grandkids, they go up there and they thank vets,” said Jim Watson. “And we've been having them do that since they were a young age.”
His grandkids, four siblings, have been taught to respect their veterans, especially after growing up visiting the grave of their great-grandfather who fought in World War II.
When a small town vote of 20 people denied a $1,000 donation request from a group of veterans, Vincent, Ethan, Riley and Taylor were not happy.
The money is part of a much bigger project to build a monument and a handicap-friendly walkway at the Southern Maine Veterans Cemetery “so the disabled people can go visit their loved ones at the cemetery,” said the oldest child, Vincent.
After the town vote left them sour, these kids decided to turn things around with a sweet summer drink.
“It feels real good. We are doing it for a good cause,” Vincent said.
The kids made lemonade.
After a few weeks of selling lemonade at $1-per-glass, they presented the town of Acton a check for $2,075 to go toward the walkway.
“It's going to be pretty cool to see what it looks like,” Vincent said. “It's a good feeling knowing that we have helped the people that need it.”
And they got some extra help when a local man did some fundraising of his own, leading to a grand total of over $5,500 for the cemetery.
“I think they are amazing,” said Jim Driscoll, who additionally raised more than $3,500. “I think they are absolutely unbelievable. And I saw them standing for two or three days in the hot sun.”
Life gave them lemons, and these kids made lemonade.
The project still has around $70,000 to go before the monument and walkway can be complete, but Acton residents say this lemonade project has lit a fire under them, and that they plan to continue to help the veterans fundraise until it is built.
Copyright 2016 WCSH