FAIRFIELD TWP. – When Principal Denise Hayes got a call last month about an incoming kindergartner who wanted to donate proceeds from a lemonade stand to her school, she thought it was sweet.
But when Cayden Cummings and his parents brought in a check made out to Fairfield North Elementary School for $1,020, she was shocked.
“I thought I was going to get a check for $20 or $30,” Hayes said. “Our minds were blown away. To have a 5-year-old bring in a check for $1,000 was mind blowing.”
Cayden’s parents Alayna and Terrell were just as surprised when their son suggested the lemonade stand after going shopping with his mom and grandmother for back-to-school supplies.
“I think he saw something on YouTube about someone using a lemonade stand to raise money to get an Xbox,’’ said Alayna, a 2006 Fairfield High School graduate who attended Fairfield North for two years.
“To hear him say he wanted to raise money for supplies to help other kids is really special. I was so proud of Cayden.”
In order to have a COVID-19 friendly lemonade sale, Terrell went out and bought cans of lemonade, along with bottles of Gatorade, and water. They posted it on the Fairfield Township Residents Facebook page.
Cayden donned his face mask, put up a giant inflatable dinosaur with the sign and offered the drinks at no cost – just asking for donations.
“It really happened in less than 24 hours. He just wanted to be nice,” his father said.
“Everybody came together. He was thinking about others. I’m so proud of him.”
In two hours they had received more than $700 in donations, including $20 each from three former North Elementary students. People kept donating money both online and in person for almost a week.
“It was fun,’’ Cayden said. “I want to do it again.”
Hayes said she isn’t sure yet what she will use the money for.
“I want to get something unique, special to remember Cayden,’’ Hayes said.
“He embodies everything we want our students have – to care about each other, to care about our community. He was being a role model and he didn’t even know it.”