PORTLAND — “Hard work and determination.”
Those are the keys to making the perfect cup of lemonade according to 12-year-old Anthony Salvaggio, a sixth-grader at St. Brigid School in Portland.
His younger brother Joey adds, “You’ve got to have confidence.”
There was plenty of determination and confidence on display on Aug. 11, when members of the Salvaggio family set up their lemonade business, “The Squeeze,” in the parking lot of St. Brigid School.
People could drive or walk up to receive a cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade in exchange for a donation to South Portland Professional Firefighters Local 1476, which is participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Fill the Boot campaign.
“We are making lemonade for our community. Our community has done a lot for us, so I think it’s time to repay our community and help them,” says Anthony.
“I think it’s awesome,” says Justin Robash, a South Portland firefighter. “The MDA this year is down 53 percent in their fundraising. Annually, they’re projecting a decrease of approximately 75 percent in their fundraising, so every little bit helps. It was fantastic that St. Brigid reached out to me and asked if they could donate to us to help.”
People who came by donated anywhere from a few dollars to $20 for the lemonade, resulting in the collection of $1153.91.
In addition to the lemonade stand at St. Brigid, students were also encouraged to have their own lemonade stands to raise money to donate to charities of their choice.
The lemonade stands are part of St. Brigid School’s ongoing Summer of Service, which has also included thank you messages to essential workers, cards and letters to seniors, and two blood drives, which resulted in the donation of 68 pints of blood.
With the summer winding down, students are now anticipating a return to the classroom. Maine’s Catholic Schools will be offering five-day-a-week, in-classroom learning beginning at the end of this month or in early September.
Joey and Anthony both say they are looking forward to it.
“I want to go back very badly,” says Joey. “I want to meet new friends and be with my friends again.”