by Tyler Molleur
HARDWICK – As the long days of summer begin to wane, most six-year-olds are busy trying to make every second of vacation count before returning to school in a couple of weeks.
Maksim Boyce is one of those. He is days away from being a first-grader at the Hardwick Elementary School. Max has spent most of his summer doing his favorite activities: playing football, fishing, swimming, and camping. He aspires to become a football player when he’s older.
For now, however, he considers his biggest accomplishment to be giving back to the community by donating the proceeds of running a lemonade stand to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry. He set up the stand outside his home on Evergreen Manor Drive, where he lives with his parents, Bill and Pauline.
The idea of running a lemonade stand was spontaneous, says Pauline. The idea became a reality the afternoon of August 3, as Pauline assisted Max in preparing lemonade.
“I asked him, ‘What are you going to do with the money?'”, Pauline said. “He said he wanted to donate it. I thought he would get bored with the lemonade stand after half an hour.”
It’s hard to not appreciate Max’s charitable spirit, as he talked about how his efforts would help people in need. He sold $47 worth of lemonade, but the effort inspired customers to donate beyond the stand price of 50 cents per cup. Lastly, Max was able to sell a birdhouse he made.
He walked to the Hardwick Area Food Pantry with $130 in hand. As he presented the pantry’s director, LauraLee Sweeney, with the money, a person who was visiting the pantry contributed a final $5 donation.
“It’s wonderful to witness a child growing up with a healthy sense of compassion and a strong charitable spirit. Max demonstrated that everyone can help those around them,” said Sweeney. “The Hardwick Area Food Pantry is extremely grateful for the support from Max and his fundraising efforts.”
The Hardwick Area Food Pantry serves Hardwick and surrounding towns, with two satellite locations in Albany and Craftsbury. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization saw the monthly number of households needing emergency food assistance increase by 25%. More information on how the public can help can be found at nourishhardwick.org/pantry.