Jaden Sze, Nadia Sze and Max Betasso work a lemonade stand to raise money to plant new trees in East Dallas. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Watts.)

When a June storm swept through Dallas, felling more than 600 trees, three students at St. John’s Episcopal School decided to help make Dallas green again.

Max Betasso, 6, teamed up with neighbors Jaden Sze, 10, and Nadia Sze, 8, to open a lemonade stand outside their home on Twin Tree Lane. On a hot day in late July, they sold popsicles and lemonade for 50 cents a cup from a table decked out with a hula skirt and tiki tent.

“Summers get really hot, and lemonade is a cold beverage, so people walking and biking could have something to cool off,” Jaden said.

When neighbors discovered why the students were toiling in the heat, they often told them to keep the change or handed them an extra $10 or $20. For an extra free, customers could even throw a water balloon at Max.

“I was kind of hot, so I liked it,” Max said.

An educational poster about trees. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Watts.)

Their efforts raised $170, which they donated to the Re-Leaf Fund at the Dallas Parks Foundation. The purpose of the fund is to create a repository of donations to replant trees.

“We wanted to do it for the trees,” Nadia said. “There were a lot that had fallen down because of the storm. We were trying to raise awareness about the water system and the need to plant more trees.”

The tab to replace trees lost in the storm is approximately $1.25 million, according to the Re-Leaf Fund. When making their donation, the young entrepreneurs requested that their money be earmarked for replanting trees in Lakewood, one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods.

“When the storm hit, it was very obvious the landscape had changed,” Max’s mom Jenny Watts said. “The kids care about this community and the bigger scope. They’re aware of how the cycle of the world works.”

Although neighbors might prefer if you raised money for trees and provided them with a cold drink, you can make a cash donation here.

A sign advertising a lemonade stand to raise money for replanting trees. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Watts.)


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