PITTSFIELD-- In the waning days of summer, Eva and Emma Msibi asked their mother if they could set up a lemonade stand outside their home in Cheshire.

The twin 4-year-olds wanted to do something in honor of their friend Anthony's father, who was battling cancer.

So on Aug. 31, the philanthropic girls sold their first cups of lemonade and put the proceeds toward helping cancer patients.

The impromptu fundraiser went so well, the sisters, with the help of their parents and other adults, went mobile this month. On different days, the set up a portable lemonade stand in North Adams and at Whitney's Farm Market and Gardens on Route 8 in Cheshire.

Sharon Debonis gets emotional while thanking the Msibi twins at Moments House in Pittsfield on Monday.
Sharon Debonis gets emotional while thanking the Msibi twins at Moments House in Pittsfield on Monday. (Stephanie Zollshan / Berkshire Eagle Staff)

The final tally in donations?

"Three hundred dollars," said Emma, as she was being interviewed by reporters Monday afternoon during a gathering at Moments House on Fenn Street.

The nonprofit support group for cancer patients had invited Eva and Emma to present 100 percent of their business profits to Sharon Debonis, diagnosed in April with breast cancer. In an emotional exchange, the 52-year-old Pittsfield woman gave the girls chocolate cupcakes topped with cotton candy icing to show her appreciation of the twins' support.

"I love what you guys are doing, thank you very much," Debonis said. "And thanks to Moments House who've helped me so much.


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Debonis and Moments House co-founder Alice Trumbull were impressed that the 4-year-olds understood the concept of raising money to help others in need.

"It's beautiful to see the community take care of each other -- no matter what the age," Trumbull said.

Thanks to a Facebook page, Eva and Emma's Lemonade Stand is all the rage on local social media, according to their mother, Kelly Msibi.


PHOTO GALLERY | Twins donate lemonade stand proceeds to cancer victims


But they are unfazed by the publicity.

"They know they are helping people, but they are unaware what kind of impact they've had," Kelly Msibi said.

For Debonis, just seeing Eva and Emma smiling on their Facebook page helps get her through the day.

"How much more inspired can you get by these girls?" she asked.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,
or (413) 496-6233.