Ind. girls raise money for family of Boston victim

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -  With the biggest smile they could muster and their arms in the air like a model showing off a new car, fourth-graders Iris Nall, 10, and Marleyla Wiltz, 9, tried their best to attract attention to their lemonade stand.

The two were inspired to raise money for the family of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombings a few weeks ago.

During their reading time at Binford Elementary School, the teachers read them a book called "One Thousand Tracings," a children's book about the efforts to get shoes to people in need after World War II in Europe.

Their teacher used the opportunity to relate the need for aid after the war to the need for aid for families after the Boston Marathon bombing.

As a part of the classroom exercise, the two friends and classmates traced their feet and wrote an idea of how they might be able to help inside the tracing.

"We would write something on our (traced) foot about the Boston bombing," Iris said, "like a goal for us to earn money or something."

"So we wrote the `Lemonade Stand' on our foot," Marleyla told The Herald-Times.

"After the Boston bombing happened, we just felt really bad for the people who got injured," Iris said.

So the two of them decided to raise money by selling lemonade, iced tea and homemade cookies at the end of Iris' parents driveway in the Hoosier Acres neighborhood on Bloomington's east side.

They set up a small card table with their homemade sign, grabbed their goodies and tried to entice every car that drove by to stop for a 50-cent lemonade and a $1 chocolate chip cookie.

For a couple of hours after school, on three days over the past week and a half, they patiently waited and managed to raise nearly $100 on their own.

But a neighbor saw their cause and wanted to help in some way as well.

Chris Smith, owner of Short Stop BBQ Train, stopped by with his children and offered to let the girls sell their lemonade at the weekly barbecue sale at Short Stop Food Mart last Thursday.

"My wife has run in the Chicago Marathon twice," Smith said. "I have two children under 10 and, like most people, didn't know how I could help."

"When I heard what the girls were doing, I immediately offered," he said.

With Smith's partnership, the girls tripled their money, raising $301.54 in total.

"At first, I was concerned when she said that they had discussed the death of a child in her class," said Marleyla's mother, L. Kate Wiltz.

"But as she continued to talk and explained what she and Iris were planning," she said, "I was truly impressed with how the girls transformed tragic information into something so motivated and caring."

Wiltz found the richardfamilyfund.org website and is preparing to send all the money the girls have earned to the fund.

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