Lemonade sales to help fund playground

Published on Saturday, 17 May 2014 23:06 - Written by Betty Waters blw@tylerpaper.com

A bouquet of yellow roses and a glass container of lemons decorated a table underneath trees in Southside Park on Saturday, where supporters of a proposed new playground sold lemonade, water, fruit and popsicles to raise funds to help pay for the project.

Nearby, another lemonade stand was set up on Rose Rudman Trail that borders the east side of the park. Altogether, eight to 10 stands popped up at various times and scattered locations across Tyler, such as the Azalea District and Hollytree, in the lemonade sale benefiting the project, Amanda Storer, volunteer coordinator, estimated.

A lot of the families that came by in Southside Park already knew about plans for the playground, but some did not.

“When you explain what’s going on, they say ‘that’s great,’” volunteer Tristan Bennett said.

Volunteers manning the lemonade stands “spread the word” about the project and also about a free celebration people were invited to at Rocket Fizz on Saturday night to benefit the campaign for funds for the park project, Ms. Storer said.

People who stopped by were interested in learning that the project will include a sport court where teenagers and adults can participate, as well as children in the new playground, she said.

By early afternoon, she estimated “probably a couple of hundred people” had stopped by the main lemonade stand in Southside Park.

“Most of them are just getting information,” she said.

For runners who did not have money with them, the volunteers handed out mints in a package telling them where they could go on the Web to give.

“Some people just donated; they didn’t want to buy anything,” Ms. Storer said.

Juice, bottled water, prepackaged lemonade and popsicles were for sale.

Volunteer Gabriel Ortiz, 14, said he sold lemonade and passed out flyers to raise awareness of the park project in order to fulfill a requirement at his school for students to give community service.

The charity celebration Saturday night featured Kornpop the Klown, Batman, Jujubilee face painting, the East Texas Bombers Roller Derby Team, a silent auction and other attractions.

The new playground will include a music garden, enclosed sport court, an updated pavilion and a handicapped accessible water fountain.