Adams girl, friend to host Lemonade for Louison House fundraiser


ADAMS — Even a lemonade stand can experience a rain delay.

Adia Bourassa's planned lemonade stand fundraiser benefitting Louison House, which was scheduled for Saturday, has been pushed back to July 30. The stand will operate from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. in front of 75 Commercial St.

"The weather says it might rain on Saturday," said Adia, 10, earlier in the week, "and I want to make sure I can get money to help the people at Louison House."

With the help of her 5-year-old sister Clara, her mother, Jessica Bourassa, and several friends, Adia said she will use lemon juice, lemons and a juicer to create fresh lemonade.

"We don't like powder," she said, referring to beverage mixes.

Louison House shelter sustained significant water damage after a small fire on June 26 caused activation of the three-story building's sprinkler system. The water doused the flames and prevented extensive fire damage but ceilings, clothing, furniture and other items were saturated. At least one ceiling collapsed and town Building Inspector Donald Toricco deemed the premises uninhabitable.

Shelter residents are staying in a Williamstown motel while Louison House staff work to open the Flood House in North Adams as a temporary residence. Louison House is expected to be renovated and resume operations as a shelter.

"My mother told me about what happened and that the people had to leave the shelter," Adia said. "She said it was because of water damage and when I heard it, I wanted to help."

Her plans for Lemonade for Louison House include siting the stand between two benches and near a sidewalk. Balloons will be used to attract attention, and friends — like Layla Boudreau, 8 — will hold signs to generate more sales, Adia said.

"I sell the lemonade for 50 cents a glass and my mom said she will make strawberry banana bread," she said. "I will sell that for 25 cents a slice."

Last summer, Adia operated a lemonade stand for one afternoon and raised $100 for Soldier On, a Pittsfield-based group assisting homeless military veterans.

"I sold lemonade to people going by on bicycles, to runners and some people pulled over in cars," Adia said. "When they found out what I was doing, they almost always gave me a dollar, not 50 cents."

A savvy entrepreneur, Adia said any chance of rain could dampen sales.

"People aren't out riding bicycles when it rains," she said.

"She makes me so proud," her mother said. "This lemonade stand was her idea and last year it was her idea, too. We have good friends in our life, people who do things like this and it has influenced her."

"I think about people who don't have homes and I want to help," Adia said. "I am not keeping any of the money I make. I am giving it all to Louison House."

The friends who help with her fundraisers are happy to be included, Adia said.

"When I tell them what I am doing they get excited," she said.

Layla said that last year she held a sign because it was windy and the sign kept blowing away.

"I really liked helping," Layla said. "It was windy and it was like the 'Wizard of Oz.' There's no place like home."


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