MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When it comes to raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Summer Program, it’s all old school.

Over the course of five Wednesdays this summer, the Ronald McDonald House, next to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus, is sponsoring lemonade stands to help send children and their siblings on field trips.

Gretchen Ambrosier, the program’s director, says the coordinators aim to create a fun environment for the critically-ill kids living in the house. “It’s summer,” she says, “school is out.”And for some, activities are hard to come by.

“It’s about creating a sense of normalcy while these families are going through a medical crisis,” Ambrosier said. “The children here are relating to others who may be going through very similar situations. They’re bonding with other kids who understand what they’re feeling.”

When planning field trips for the week, program leaders understand that getting out into the community is an essential part for children’s development. The list of destinations they visit range anywhere from ValleyFair to the beach.

“We also go to some of the local zoos and farms so kids can connect with animals, which can be very therapeutic,” Ambrosier said.

They can rake in up to $300 a day. The impressive lemonade stands are truly making an impact on the children’s lives.

“They take pride in what they’re raising money for knowing that it’s going to something they’re going to do later,” Ambrosier said.

The next lemonade stands will be on July 31 and Aug. 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ronald McDonald House on Oak Street.


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