National News

Lemonade's sweet return to help

Posted August 20, 2018 6:51 a.m. EDT

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. _ When the state shuts down your son's lemonade stand for operating without a permit, you don't let the publicity go to waste.

"State shuts down 7 yo's lemonade stand... ... because he's cheaper than the county fair!" read a headline in the New York Post.

"New York Governor Offers to Pay Permit for 7-Year-Old's Lemonade Stand After Health Department Shut It Down," read another in Newsweek.

"NY lawmaker introduces bill to keep kid-run lemonade stands open," read yet another.

With so much media attention, a visit from a local state senator, a local congresswoman and The New York Times, the Mulvaneys saw a golden opportunity.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, they held a news conference to announce the reopening of Brendan's "famous" lemonade stand near the county fairgrounds. No, they never got a permit and have no plans to. Yes, they heard back from the state Health Department. No, it has no plans to enforce the permit issue anymore. Yes, it was instructed to lay off by the governor's office.

More importantly, though, they said, all money raised Saturday would go toward a good cause. Their family friend, Maddy Moore, 12, is having surgery Wednesday to fix a deformity caused by a rare bone disease she's had since she was 2. Her family needs money for medical expenses and for a hotel stay near the Shriners Children Hospital in Springfield, Mass.

Five hours after the news conference, the Mulvaneys had raised more than $900.

"It was the perfect opportunity," said Sean Mulvaney, Brendan's father. "The media exposes the whole fiasco. It goes viral. And we were able to raise over $900 because of it. So the bottom line is we were able to help a little girl all because the Health Department blew everything up. So you could say the state helped our cause."

The Moores spent the day with the Mulvaneys on Saturday, helping with lemonade customers and talking about Maddy's surgery.

Maddy has Blount's disease, a growth disorder of the shin bone that slowly worsens over time. Doctors had to break the bone in her left leg when she was 2 in order to realign it, her parents said. It seemed to heal fine and her legs were great until recently, when the left leg began to bow again, they said.

It was a crushing realization for Maddy, who loves to play basketball and hopes to join the volleyball team this year.

"We are just still in awe that they did all this for us," Tim Moore, Maddy's dad, said of the Mulvaneys.

Brendan took a moment to reflect on why so many people turned out to buy his lemonade Saturday.

"'Cause I'm famous," he said. "And 'cause we need to help Maddy. Go team Maddy! Like, we need to help her because she is really sick and we need to help her."

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