The Michaels Family Lemonade Stand fundraiser gives back

fourth annual Michaels Family Lemonade stand held inside due to rain. Brayden Jagger Haines

The rain didn’t put a damper on the fourth annual Michaels Family Lemonade Stand fundraiser.

The annual event, usually held on the Pierrefonds family’s front lawn, was held Saturday in the Kingsdale Academy gymnasium for the first time due to rain.

Fresh lemonade, baked goods and raffle prizes were all on sale at the fundraising event. Children and parents had the chance to play around with inflatable games and face-painting activities.

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The event and the items sold are sponsored and donated by local vendors and businesses. All the proceeds go towards the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Mother and organizer Joanna Michaels says she and her family hold the event to give back to the staff and the hospital after receiving care themselves.

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“They will forever hold a special place in our heart,” Michaels said.

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The Micheals family started the fundraiser after their youngest child spent 111 days in the NICU.

The boy, now a healthy four-year-old, was born prematurely at 26 weeks and weighing only one pound 14 ounces.

“For us, it is just a little piece of what we can do,” Joanna said.

“They saved his life. Without the NICU we might not have our son, so we owe them a lot. It’s the little thing we can do.”

The small idea, a brainchild of her oldest daughter, has grown beyond what she had imagined, Michaels said. Saturday’s event raised over $1,800.

Donations for the lemonade stand fundraiser are also accepted online.

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