ST. JOHNS, Mich. — When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or at least that's what 10 year-old Ella Prohaska does.
“I just did it because I wanted to make some money because we actually started this at my old house, and the first time that I sold lemonade there, which I didn't really sell it as much, nobody cared,” Ella said.
Sitting on the corner of Oakland and Sturgis Streets in St. John's she sells a lot of lemonade.
“Here, everybody just just comes, and it's super nice here,” Ella said.
But sometimes, life can get a little sour. When Ella went to pay for more lemonade supplies, she was surprised to find her money missing.
“We're standing right there, and how can you look at a 10 year old who's in tears because they just lost their money,” said Ella's dad Mike Prohaska.
Somewhere along the walk between their house and the store, $80 fell out of her pocket.
“I looked around for my money, I couldn't find it," Ella said. "So my dad grabbed his wallet, and we went back and we paid for it.”
Someone found the money outside the store, but they didn't turn it in.
"The employee comes back and even more flustered now, and she was just like, well, you didn't lose your money her, you lost your money on your way here, into the store," Mike said. “The person who found it, I'm sorry to tell you, does not wish to do the right thing and return it.”
So, Mike took to social media hoping the woman who didn't turn Ella's money in would see it.
“I just wanted her to see what she did to my daughter and what she took away," Mike said. "It wasn't just money, it was all that time that she put in.”
But what he didn't expect was the community support.
“The way the community rallied together, it blew our minds,” Mike said.
“People just started flooding in, and it was just amazing, and the St. Johns' community is the nicest community ever really, because so many people have come," Ella said.
Ella decided to pay it forward to All About Animals in Flint, an organization that holds a special place in her heart.
“The next day I decided to do a small fundraiser for the animal hospital that tried to save our dog Sadie,” Ella said. “As they were getting her up to go to my dad, her heart just stopped, and she collapsed and sadly she didn't make it, but after that they didn't even make us pay for anything. So that is why I wanted to donate.”
After a day of selling lemonade, she donated $2,358 to the shelter.
“I was so proud of her because she just wanted to sell lemonade," Mike said. "That was her plan for the whole weekend, you know. To be out here and, you know, for her to decide that and most kids would want to keep that.”
So even though life can be a little tart sometimes, Ella will always make it a little sweeter.
Ella said she plans to keep selling lemonade throughout the summer and will sell hot chocolate in the winter to raise money to upgrade her stand.
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