Lemonade Stand Day pays tribute to former volunteer fatally stabbed in May
EDMONTON -- Hundreds of lemonade stands popped up across Alberta on Sunday, raising money for the Stollery Children's Hospital.
This is normally a sweet conclusion to summer in Alberta, but this year's Lemonade Stand Day included a touching tribute to Bella Desrosier, a long-time junior lemon squeezer who was killed earlier this year.
Her family have been part of the event for years, and they made sure that wouldn't change this time, now doing it in Bella’s memory.
“I can't say enough. Like we've been busy non-stop since we opened at 11," Bella’s mom Melissa said.
"Making the treats, to doing the decorating, all of it, just doing things as a family. So we really miss Bella this year, but we were still able to remember her when we were doing those things."
Bella died in May when she was stabbed multiple times in front of her mother. Her kindness and generosity is being remembered by everyone involved.
"She just had this infectious smile. She was just such a beautiful little girl," said Monita Chapman, chairperson for Lemonade Stand Day.
Commemorative stickers were at all of the stands, with patrons asked to raise a glass for Bella.
"This year - and for the years to come, we just always want to remember what she loved about this day, and what she loved about giving back to her community and local charities," said Chapman.
The event has grown from just 30 stands in 2013 to 250 stands today, raising nearly $700,000 for the Stollery over that time.
"I'm so proud of all the junior lemon squeezers, I’m so proud of their families, I’m so proud of our community. We are out spreading some lemon love in our community and it's amazing," said Chapman.
“It just warms my heart,” said Melissa. “All the support, just, we know that Bella’s watching down from up above and she's so proud."