News

Lemon aid with a twist

By Ryan Wolstat, Toronto Sun

WHITBY - 

A sour incident has turned into “an amazing thing” for the Potter family of Oshawa.

Corbin Potter, the nine-year-old autistic boy who had his lemonade stand shut down by a perturbed neighbour on July 1 and his two sisters accompanied servers around the Baton Rouge restaurant in Whitby from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesday, offering customers lemonade for a dollar, with all proceeds going to the Hospital for Sick Children.

Their mom, Dawn, is surprised and thrilled at how an initially negative incident — the unidentified female neighbour called Durham Region Police after her offer of $5 to shut down the stand failed and Corbin was left in tears — has turned into a positive.

“We were definitely heartwarmed, it’s such an amazing thing,” Potter said.

“Sick Kids Hospital is near and dear to our hearts. Their cousins had heart surgery there — they wouldn’t be here without Sick Kids — and that’s why they chose to do the lemonade stand, so it’s awesome they’re going to do such a huge thing to help out.”

Steven Bortnik, one of the owners of the Baton Rouge location, said he and others were moved to help after reading the story in the Sun.

“It was pretty unfortunate ... we called the family, the family was doing such a great thing for a great cause so we decided to invite (them) over to see how we could raise some money,” Bortnick said.

The lemonade was proving a popular sell Tuesday evening and the restaurant is matching all donations raised.

Like Dawn Potter, Bortnik is surprised at the level of support for the cause.

“People are so generous in this neighbourhood, people are coming in, they’re not even eating, they’re just coming in, they’re just donating $50 cheques, they don’t even want the lemonade,” he said.

Corbin Potter, who has ran the lemonade stand with his sisters for the past three years (without incident prior to this Canada Day), said Sick Kids also helped one of his sisters, who swallowed a penny, get better.

Potter loves lemonade, but that’s not why he raises money for Sick Kids.

“Honestly I like helping charities, it’s quite fun,” he said, ecstatic that his first pledge of the evening was for $100.

The family isn’t sure how much money will be raised, but an oversized cheque is all but ready to be presented at Noon Wednesday.

“I would love to present Sick Kids tomorrow with a cheque ... I think that would be so amazing,” Dawn Potter said.


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