Submitted By: Sarah Martini-Ricci, CAM (Fiddlesticks Country Club)
FORT MYERS, FL – Remember the good old days when kids read books, played in the yard and built robots out of cardboard boxes? When researching something meant a trip to the library? When kids held lemonade stands to get a new bike or buy candy? Children today are blessed and cursed with having everything at their fingertips. Scholars have long worried about generations of children losing their innocence to this instant gratification society and whether the curiosity, generosity, and free-spirited nature of youth will be extinguished.
Four local girls showed us that there is hope yet for this generation and that the basic principles of helping thy neighbor still ring true. It was February of 2018 when Kayla Nichols, Scarlett Lyons, and Kathryn and Victoria Wendland decided to help the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation. They had all grown up seeing the Fiddlesticks Country Club community work together to raise money for abused and at-risk children. All four girls knew that together they could make a difference and set out to formulate a plan.
In recent years lemonade stands have become a hot topic. The news has been filled with stories of children having to close up shop in several states, even to the extent that Country Time Lemonade now has a “Legal-Ade” division dedicated to defending these kids. Here in Lee County if you are on your own property you are permitted to host a lemonade stand, and that is just what the girls did. In 2018, they raised $75 and proudly turned in their donations to the Foundation. This year, they changed up their plan and took donations, added signage and increased the buzz exponentially.
At the Bobby Nichols-Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation annual meeting in March, funds were set to be distributed to the local charities supported by the group. Representatives from Abuse, Counseling and Treatment, Blessings in a Backpack, Children’s Advocacy Center and Liberty Youth Ranch were all on hand to receive checks from the Foundation President Michael Lancellot. Beforehand, these four young girls nervously shared their exciting news before the agencies and members of Fiddlesticks.
Their 2019 total raised was $1333.22, which was added to the funds generated through live and silent auctions over the event weekend for a total of over $1,00,000 in donations from this year’s event. It was the heart and drive of these young ladies that pushed the foundation over the ONE MILLION MARK.
Maybe we can’t all make the perfect cup of lemonade, but we can surely teach our children how life is all about what we put into it. We might not always have the perfect recipe, but when given the opportunity to lend a hand you should hang up your sign, mix a batch of cool, refreshing lemonade and bask in the sun knowing we can all make a huge difference in our community, one cup at a time.