CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP - A building fund for a new public facility on Hubbard Lake got a bump last month from an unlikely source - a handful of children and their lemonade stand proceeds.
Four siblings of the Butler-VanderLinden family of Chicago - Jason, 7, Ethan and Brendan, 9, and Emma, 11 - had a few weeks left to stay at their family's summer home in Hubbard Lake's Hardwoods division when they cooked up the idea for a cookies and lemonade stand enterprise. Together with local cousins Emily, Courtney and Caroline Cates, they baked and brewed their inventory and spent a day selling it in a mobile operation, moving the stand from place to place throughout the division, and ended the day with a $51.50 haul and no consensus on what to do with it. Their father, John VanderLinden, said the kids are strong readers and regularly participate in local summer reading programs, so he suggested the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan's Hubbard Lake Community Association Building and Library Fund. He said the decision was not initially unanimous but seemed like the appropriate course of action.
"We've contributed to the fund in the past, just as a family, and it's a building fund and they're trying to build a new community center on Hubbard Lake on the north end, and they've decided the library would be part of that community center, so we thought that would be great," he said.
Alcona County Library Caledonia branch assistant Mary Jane Barkley said the kids delivered the money to the library on Aug. 21 having learned an important family lesson about selfless giving.
"The kids were having some discussion on what they should do with the money," she said. "They didn't necessarily plan to do it just for this purpose, so they had some discussion on that, and it was a teaching moment for the family."
It was a simple gesture of generosity, a donation of long hours and good intentions with something to say about community and charity, delivered on behalf of the donors from Hardwood with a handmade card containing an inscription: "Thank you for all you do for the Hubbard Lake community."
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.