After a successful nine year run, Joseph and Maddie Mastriano are retiring the Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand. The total impact by the original founders of the increasingly ambitious fund-raising event in support of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital and the Child Life program is over $122,000, with more to come during the last lemonade stand scheduled to take place this August.
Dr. Carolyn Milana, Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Carol Gomes, CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital, and Joan Alpers, Director Child Life Services with members of the Child Life team, met to honor the Mastrianos for their fundraising work, and to receive a check for the program. The money raised has helped the Child Life program fund projects that directly support kids struggling with illness and hospitalization.
Joan Alpers says the event started as a small affair, organized by two preteens but quickly escalated into a local fixture.
“Every event is crafted, colorful, energetic and attracts community members, kids, teens and grownups, to come out and join the giving,” says Alpers. “I know this is the last lemonade stand event, but I have a feeling this could be a ‘lemonade movement’ that inspires another set of young people to find a new way to do a good thing for their hospital and community.”
Joseph and Maddie first started the fundraising event in the summer of 2012 when the siblings decided to make lemonade and sell it outside their home with some friends. At first, they thought of splitting the few dollars raised between friends, but their mother suggested donating it to charity and they chose Stony Brook Children’s.
“We were lucky to have a summer while there are some kids who are sick, and don’t have that chance,” says Maddie. “ We thought donating to the Child’s Life program would be a nice way to let them know we are thinking of them and give them a chance to do everyday activities outside the four walls of the hospital.”
What started out as a small lemonade stand in front of their home, quickly grew year after year. The community rallied around the event, making it a summer tradition. Beyond raising money for Stony Brook, the stand has given more than 1,000 students the opportunity to earn more than 9,000 community service hours. In 2020, 150 volunteers from grades K-12 took part in the annual Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand.
“It’s been so amazing to see people from across the island come together to support the Children’s hospital and support our efforts to raise money for the Child Life program,” says Joseph.
Now that Maddie is about to start her senior year at Loyola University in Maryland and Joseph is set to begin attending Stony Brook University this fall, they are ready to end the event on a high note. The final in-person lemonade stand event will be on Monday, August 9, from 3 to 7pm at R.C. Murphy Junior High School with a virtual livestream to follow on the Twitch app (on the “Impulse912_” channel) from 7:30-9:30pm. To donate to this year’s event, visit this GoFundMe.
Photo Credit: Stony Brook Medicine