12-year-old raises money with lemonade stand

Published 9:46 pm Monday, August 13, 2018

Parker Duke has had a love for ForKids since he was just 6 years old, and since then he’s been raising money for the organization.

Last Saturday, Parker, 12, with the help of his family, set up the tent for the sixth year of the Parker Duke Lemonade Stand, and in just a day, he raised more than $8,600.

Every year, just before the stand opens up, Parker sits down with his mom, Nicole Harrell, to discuss how much they want to raise, and every year, Parker’s goals grow. Last year, Parker raised $5,202 from his lemonade stand, and he wants to double that for this summer.

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There will still be more money coming in over the next week, so Parker is likely to meet his goal.

The community was happy to support Parker.

“You would have thought something huge was happening on our street,” Parker’s dad, Eley, said.

There were at least eight fire trucks that stopped by, and at least 10 police officers came to visit the stand and donate to the cause.

“I was very happy,” Parker said.

They plan to present the donation to ForKids Chief Executive Officer Thaler McCormick, and the ForKids organization sometimes next week.

Parker has made a five-year commitment to raise an additional $5,000 specifically for the new ForKids facility in Suffolk. The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation has also agreed to match the gift in support of ForKids’ new Suffolk facility on West Constance Road.

Both Eley and Nicole are happy to see how big the operation has grown and what Parker has done for ForKids.

“Nicole and I can’t put into words how proud we are. It’s been six years now and he has raised over $18,000,” Eley Duke said. “We are beyond proud of him and he’s done a lot of this himself, and he has a good support group.”

The family is certain the operation will continue to grow every year so they can make larger contributions to ForKids, and Parker intends to do the stand for as long as he can.