13 After weeks of planning and hectic last-minute preparations, the fourth annual Lanning’s Lemonade and Colton’s Cookies fundraiser ended on another successful note.

The dynamic team of entrepreneurial brothers Lanning Kistler, 9, and Colton Walters, 8, recently presented a $4,524 check to the Child Advocacy Center.
It was the second time the boys opted to give proceeds from their fundraiser to the Child Advocacy Center. Including this year’s event, which was Aug. 20, the boys have raised $7,099 for the center.

Roberta Humphries, executive director of the Child Advocacy Center, said the money will go into the general operating budget to help fund the many services provided by the center for abused children.
Humphries said the center benefits from several “third-party” fundraisers, but this is the first organized by children.

“It’s the only one child-driven,’’ Humphries said during a telephone interview. “It’s their idea and choice of whom they give the money. That’s kind of unique.”

Along with earning money from selling lemonade, which Lanning spiced up this year with a secret ingredient that he refuses to divulge, and the sale of M&M-laden cookies prepared by Colton, the boys also raised money through sponsorships and online donations.

“Everyone loved our new recipe,” Lanning said in an email. “People kept telling us it was the best lemonade they ever had,” he stated.

Not to be outdone, Colton also faired well with his cookies. “My cookies were also popular. We sold out of them and we made like 200,” he wrote in his email. “We have to make more next year.”

Sponsors included Firehouse Subs on Glensford Drive, the UPS Store in Westwood Shopping Center, City Center Gallery and Books on Hay Street, Maidens and Monsters Face and Body Art, and Meraki Creative Agency. State Sen. Kirk deViere and his wife, Jenny, and Randy and Ann Gregory also sponsored the fundraiser.

Except for the first year, the boys hold their fundraiser at the entrance of VanStory, in an opening just off Morganton Road, but change may be on the horizon.
Dad John Kistler said the event may be partnered with a large community organization in an effort to garner more sponsors and more aggressively promote the fundraiser.
Kistler said expanding the activities might help draw sponsors, which made this year’s event so successful. He envisions more activities for younger customers such as bounce houses, and perhaps the sale of local art, and music for adult attendees.

“Basically, we’re considering anything that can help bring in donations for the Child Advocacy Center,’’ Kistler said. “We are open to any ideas from community members to make it an event people would want to attend and give money to a very deserving and much-needed organization.”

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