$24K raised for boy who was given fake $100 bill at lemonade stand

The suspected lemonade stand thief is pictured on the left in this photo shared by the Everett Police Department. Everett Police Department / Getty Images

An 11-year-old boy who was scammed into accepting a counterfeit $100 bill at his Washington state lemonade stand could techincally start his own lemonade company now, after sympathetic and kind GoFundMe users helped to turn his fortune around in just a few days.

The boy, identified only as Jeremy, used his hard-earned allowance to set up a lemonade stand in Everett, Wash., this summer, positioning himself on one of the city’s main streets.

However, the unsuspecting young man was bilked out of US$85 when an ill-intentioned customer used a fake $100 bill to pay for a glass of juice.

According to a Facebook post by the Everett Police Department last Thursday, Jeremy used $85 worth of his allowance money to return change to the customer. However, when he went to buy something at the local gas station, he was informed the $100 bill was counterfeit.

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“While our detectives work hard to bring closure to every case, this case struck a particular chord with them, and they want to do everything they can to get justice for Jeremy and catch this counterfeiter,” the police department wrote in their post, asking for viewers to help identify the thief.

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Jeremy’s plight didn’t just strike a chord with the officers, however. Shortly after the post went up, one of Jeremy’s neighbours set up a GoFundMe to help the young entrepreneur recoup his lost allowance and build back his lemonade stand.

“(Jeremy) is a hard working boy between his lemonade stand…mowing neighbors yards and shoveling snow in the winter. He has dreams of owning his own vending machine business in the future,” wrote Amy Steenfott on the online fundraising page.

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A screenshot from the GoFundMe page shows that 1,100 people have raised more than $24,000 for Jeremy. GoFundMe

Steenfott set an initial goal of $250, to help cover Jeremy’s loss of allowance and “give him some more funds to possibly expand his enterprise.”

However, the goal was reached in a matter of hours and as of this writing has surpassed an incredibly generous $24,000.

In an update Monday, Steenfott wrote that Jeremy’s family are “overwhelmed” by the generosity and are still wrapping their heads around the kindness of strangers.

“This proves that there are so many great people in this world and we far surpass the bad ones,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that the suspect has been caught. Tips can be sent to the Everett police via their Facebook page.

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