By Elizabeth DePierro

June 24, was an unseasonably hot Sunday, even near the water. It was the day of the Madison Historical Society’s Tour of Remarkable Homes and seven-year-old Thea Hardy’s neighbor’s house was a tour destination. Thea thought, what a perfect day for a lemonade stand!

She quickly recruited her nine-year-old sister Elise, scored a ready lemonade cart and got to work and set up. In no time, lemonade (regular and sugar free), brownies and cookies right out of the oven were for sale. Business was brisk! Talk about service with a smile…. and the enterprise was success!

Thea’s stand served as a welcome oasis for lemonade and treats on the house tour, and a draw for the neighborhood kids. It was a stop for more than lemonade. It was a station for genuine smiles and a simple reminder about the comfort of an old-fashioned neighborly lemonade stand.

After “close of business” Thea’s mom Tracy had a conversation with her daughter about what to do with the proceeds. Thea’s reply was simply. She wanted to share. Thea said she wanted all of the money to help kids in her town. She wanted to be sure kids could have toys, good food to eat and be able to try camps and have fun.

Tracy was familiar with The Madison Foundation; with great pride, Thea chose to donate the lemonade earnings to the Kathryn Hart Fund, one of The Madison Foundation Endowment Funds. The Foundation ( is deeply thankful to Thea and the Hardy Family and will ensure that the lemonade trust would be used specifically to help local children.

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