STAND AND DELIVER: Lemonade sales saving lives thanks to Sturgis boy

STURGIS, SD — You might know him as the Sturgis Lemonade Kid, and no, that’s not a tribute to an old Wild West Icon.

It’s the story you might recall of how Wyatt Dennis created a business thanks to a Facebook post. But as he’ll tell you, it wasn’t meant to start like this.

“We just thought this was going to be a normal lemonade stand off of our driveway,” Dennis said. “You know? Just normal, nothing too serious.”

Last year, Wyatt’s Lemonade Stand raised over $32,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Now going into its third year, the stand is looking to raise around $65,000 for the hospital.

His business will look to accomplish the feat with an expanded operation, including a picnic table donated by Black Hills Harley Davidson, portable toilets and a dumpster donated by Kieffer Sanitation.

Also at the new location, a shed, canopy and way more parking for the busier times.

“It took us about — probably about a week to make the approach,” Dennis said.

Yes, Wyatt has merchandise, tons in fact. T-Shirts, eraser backers, tank-tops, poker chips, sweaters, you name it. All to benefit the hospital.

As for the secret to running a successful business?

“Ya just gotta know what you’re doing,” Dennis said playfully.

His parents, Devin and Robin Dennis, also work at the lemonade stand.

While their son may joke that he pays with lemonade, Robin says that a major form of currency they got back is how the sugary drink is bringing many together.

“We’ve been in touch with people all year round and it’s just really cool to be able to share his life with everybody,” Robin Dennis said.

As for the lessons she’s learned, support tops them all.

“Something that seems small could definitely blow up on you and just kind of hold on for the ride and go with it,” she said.

She says she hopes Wyatt has learned that the sweetness of the situation doesn’t just stop with the drinks.

“You never know what their attitude is when they’re coming in. But if you can make their day a little bit better, then their day is worth it,” Robin Dennis said.

To learn more about the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, click here.

If you’d like to support Wyatt and the stand, you’ll find him and his family out off Exit 40 at Tilford Road. From there, you’ll turn left on Sturgis Road and travel about three-quarters of a mile before coming to his stand on your right hand side.

The stand opens at noon and closes at 6 pm Monday through Friday.

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