A young entrepreneur with a giving heart
Hunter Osborn knows a little something about bringing people together, quenching their thirst on a hot summer day and raising money for a good cause.
A lemonade stand, a decorated sign, a good yelling voice and a kind heart were the tools of his business, and philanthropy was the end result.
At just six years old, Hunter, who lives in Auburn, made the decision to donate his profits to the Pediatric Department at Cape Cod Hospital, to benefit other children.
Nancy Comer, RN & Hunter
His story begins a little more than a year ago when he and his family came to their cottage in Dennisport for Labor Day weekend in 2015. He was starting kindergarten the following week, so it was the last hurrah of summer.
Hunter had complained of a headache on Thursday and his mom, Jennifer, gave him some Tylenol, which helped for a while. But, things turned serious that night. Hunter kept waking up with the headache and then ultimately it became so painful, he was screaming.
After some diagnostic tests in the Emergency Center at Cape Cod Hospital, Hunter was diagnosed with meningitis. He then spent two days in the pediatric unit at the hospital until cultures of his spinal fluid showed no bacterial growth after 48 hours. The meningitis was caused by a virus.
“It was lucky that we caught the meningitis in time, the antibiotics were started early enough, in case it was bacterial,” said Jennifer.
Hunter recuperated completely and started school. He never forgot his stay at the hospital, or his nurse, Nancy Comer.
This past summer, during one of the family trips to the Cape, Hunter decided he wanted to have a lemonade stand to make some money. When he asked his parents what he should do with the money, they told him that people often donate it.
“Hunter came up with the idea to donate to Cape Cod Hospital all by himself,” said Jennifer.
A Catchy Sign and Cookies Too
He created his own sign which read, “Lemyna for 50 c (cents) to Cape Cod Hostporol.” Customers got the idea.
Pink and yellow lemonade was available, as well as chocolate chip and M&M cookies. He charged 50 cents for each cup of lemonade.
Neighbors and friends arrived to purchase lemonade and cookies, and a young friend helped Hunter sell his products.
“All the boys wanted yellow lemonade,” said Hunter. “The ladies liked the pink lemonade,” said Jennifer.
A couple who drove by noticed the bustling business and turned around to buy some lemonade. The husband had a couple of dollars for his purchase but when he saw Hunter’s sign, he went back to his car and brought back $20 to donate to Hunter’s cause. He also gave Hunter a couple of dollars for his good deed to spend on whatever he wanted to do.
“I bought two ring pops and played the crane game at the arcade,” said Hunter. “I won a small emoji pillow.”
He raised $185 with his lemonade sales that day. But he didn’t stop there.
When the family arrived home in Auburn in August, they hadn’t even unpacked when Hunter announced he was bored and decided to have another lemonade stand.
“Get your lemonade,” he yelled to get attention of the neighbors.
Between the sales and donations from distant family members who heard about his cause, he raised another $100.
“Hunter’s favorite part about having the lemonade stand was delivering the check in person and giving it to the nurse (Nancy Comer) who took care of him,” said Jennifer. “One year after his illness he got to bring it to her, give her a hug and tell her all about kindergarten.”
Being the business man that he is, he created his own check in the amount of $285 to give to Comer.
“It made me feel good and I think the nurses can help other kids,” said Hunter.