OXFORD — Carlee-Mae and Alyson Cash never had experience running a business, which isn’t surprising considering they’re only in elementary school.

The sisters from Norway, who live part time in Otisfield, had an objective for last week’s Fun Dog Days at the Oxford Fairgrounds: create and run a successful lemonade stand.

What was different about this lemonade stand is the girls did not keep a single penny of the profit. The two Guy E. Rowe Elementary School students had bigger plans for the money, which was inspired by their grandfather, Don Cash, who passed away in January after a 13-month battle with cancer.

Building and running a lemonade stand was a dream that the girls and “Papa Cash” had for a while. They had planned the design for the stand that he began to build.

“He loved spending time with the girls in his shop, fixing things,” the girls’ grandmother and Don’s wife, Jan Cash, said.

After Don died, his friend, Gary Conant of Auburn, finished the lemonade stand for the girls because he knew how much it meant to them.

The girls decided they wanted the money from the venture to go to a good cause. They decided that because The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Lewiston had been so helpful to the family when their grandfather was ill, they would donate their earnings to it for cancer research.

While visiting the hospital during their grandfather’s stay, the girls were able to learn more about the disease.

“The Dempsey Center in Lewiston has wonderful programs, one of which the girls went to and learned about cancer and losing a loved one,” Jan Cash said by email. “This helped them understand and prepare them better.”

Jan Cash is battling breast cancer, which she has had since 2005. Seeing her granddaughters work hard so she and others may benefit is a joy, she said.

“They are involved with knowing about what is going on with my situation,” she said. “I am so proud of them for putting others first and trying to make a difference. Their persistence and dedication is to be admired. … I know that Papa Cash would be equally as proud of them as well.”

The evening before the sale, the girls and their grandmother made numerous batches of lemonade, bought ice cream and popsicles, and made dog treats to be sold. The dog treats were called Riesy Treats, named after Jan Cash’s dog, and were enjoyed by dogs and humans alike because of their tasty, yet safe ingredients.

“We sold, like, nine gallons of lemonade,” Carlee-Mae, the older sister, said. Alyson nodded her head in agreement and smiles.

The girls are proud of their business achievement, noting how much each item cost — lemonade for $1, ice cream bars for $1.50, Riesy Treats for 50 cents and the many flavors of popsicles for 50 cents.

“We had a few ourselves,” Carlee-Mae said with a grin, adding that the Dempsey Center holds a fundraiser called the Dempsey Challenge, where the hospital matches any donation to the hospital that is raised by children. Because the Cash sisters raised $240, the total donation to the hospital was $480.

“It’s a nice incentive for children to help out a little bit,” Jan Cash said.

The girls’ project was so successful that a family friend offered land for the girls to set their lemonade stand on for the summer.

When asked if the girls planned on keeping any profits made over the summer, they quickly shook their heads no. It will all go to the Dempsey Center, they said.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.