Alice Carvajal, 7, will be selling lemonade Saturday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Monday June 7, 2010
BENNINGTON — On hot summer days, it's common to see boys and girls selling lemonade by the side of the street. But it's not every day a 7-year old puts in the time to help juice fresh lemons and bake cookies to sell at the stand, and then donates the money raised to help abused and exploited tigers, lions and other exotic cats.
But that's just what Alice Carvajal is doing is doing with her "tiger-ific" lemonade stand on Saturday, June 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of Knapp's Underground on Main Street.
The lemonade stand was the 7-year-old's idea after she and her family visited Playa del Carmen, Mexico, two years ago and saw a circus truck hauling a trailer with a lion, tiger and miniature pony in it.
"It was horrifying and totally put this dark cloud on our whole trip," said Alice's mother, Shannon Mclaughlin-Carvajal.
Last year the family returned to the area and saw a similar truck pulling two tigers in a trailer that looked comatose without food and water. The image stuck with Alice long after their trip came to an end.
"I felt bad for them," Alice said. "They looked really tired and hot and thirsty."
After returning home, Alice saw a show on television with kids selling lemonade to raise money to fight cancer and she got the idea of holding her own lemonade sale to help abused exotic cats.
Mclaughlin-Carvajal said she helped her daughter research online to find an organization to donate the money to and they found Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fla., a nonprofit educational sanctuary devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic cats.
They chose Big Cat Rescue, Mclaughlin-Carvajalsaid, because 100 percent of donations it receives go to rescuing wild cats.
In October, the family will go to Walt Disney World and spend one day visiting Big Cat Rescue, where Alice will present the nonprofit with a check for the money she raises.
Big Cat Rescue promised Alice that during their visit she'll be given a personal tour of the facility, in which she's especially looking forward to seeing tigers and lions, she said.
The word about the lemonade stand is spreading fast, as more than 70 "friends" have already joined a Web page called "one lemonade stand, one little girl, one big cause" on the social networking Web site Facebook.
In case of rain, a makeup date for the stand will be June 27.
Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at firstname.lastname@example.org
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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