PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A neighborhood kids’ lemonade stand in Peoria raised more than $3,500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this past weekend.
About a dozen kids from the Knolls neighborhood raised money for St. Jude by selling lemonade and other treats all weekend.
Suzanne Miller started the lemonade stand more than 10 years ago when her kids were small. She’s been running in charity races for the hospital for years, and her kids wanted to help support her goal.
“The first year we did it we raised $220, and we thought that was amazing. Each year, it got bigger and bigger,” she said.
This year, Miller handed it off to her neighbor Leslie Rothan and Rothan’s three children.
“As a parent, it makes you really proud. It was their idea, obviously we wanted to support and encourage them to be as successful as possible, but it really connected the dots for them to realize what they were doing and how that money could really help save children,” Rothan said.
Rothan said her kids are already looking forward to next year.
“Just to see them want to be better for themselves, but also do something as selfless as raising money for kids that need help. Its very humbling and heartwarming and we have very much hope for the future,” Rothan said.
For a ninth consecutive year, Suzanne Miller is participating in the 41st annual St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run, an annual 465-mile relay event that has raised more than $17 million for the hospital in four decades.
“I found it was something I could do on my own, at my own pace,” said Miller. “I’m not trying to win any medals or anything, but it makes me feel good. It gives me some time to think and reflect, and it also gives me a great chance to raise money for kids.”
As is tradition, the runner sendoff for the annual race is at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, August 2 at Bob Lindsey Rentals in Peoria. The group will drive to Memphis then relay run back to Peoria by August 6.