Boy's lemonade stand reaches goal of cutting grass - KMSP-TV

Boy's lemonade stand reaches goal of cutting grass in Detroit parks

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Joshua Smith (seated) at his lemonade stand on Detroit's west side.  (Credit: WJBK | Joshua Smith (seated) at his lemonade stand on Detroit's west side. (Credit: WJBK |

Update: Brandon Donely of Ultimate Image Lawn and Landscape saw this story on Fox 2 and offered to cut the grass at several Detroit parks.

Watch Ron Savage's full video report above.

Bags of popcorn, a cooler full of cold drinks, a lemonade stand with a wish from a child worried about Detroit.

"I heard crisis in the city," said Joshua Smith. "That really scrambled through my mind, and I got troubled about that."

He literally thought the city would cease to exist.

On his way to piano lessons, Joshua heard a story on the radio about the cash crisis in the city and he kept asking questions.

"Why don't we have money?  And I would explain to him we've lost our tax base, people have left the city, bad people have messed up the money who are in government, and so he was just trying to grasp what's going on.  Why is it that we live in a city that doesn't have money," said Rhonda Smith, Joshua's mom.

Tough concepts for most adults to comprehend, let alone a nine-year-old child, but he understands this, playtime at his local parks.

"We drive to another park just so that he can actually play at a park where the grass is cut and there's not a lot of trash, and so he wondered why can't we just walk up the street to the park.  And so I would explain to him that the city only has money to cut the lawn twice a year," Rhonda Smith said.

So he decided to raise money to donate to the city's parks and recreation department to keep the grass cut so kids can play, and people like Charles Solomon want to help.

"I feel where the young man is coming from.  As a kid, we had to play in distressed areas.  We didn't have a formal baseball field, and I just thought I'd come down and buy some lemonade and see what I could do to get those parks cut."

Monday, Joshua and his friend raised a hundred dollars.  Their goal is a thousand, so all this week they'll be manning the stand in the 4200 block of Leslie on the city's west side.  Meanwhile, dad will be making popcorn.

"I'm a math teacher, so I know the debt that the city's in, so I know it's a drop in the bucket, but every flood starts with a single drop.  So, even if it couldn't solve the entire problem, it could do something," said Flynn Smith.  "If a nine-year-old can do something, we all can do something."

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