Alexandria, La., – What’s on your summer bucket list? For 6-year-old Grace, it was a lemonade stand.

“It was No. 1 on my list for the summer,” Grace said during a recent visit to Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“My dad helped me make the lemonade. We didn’t squeeze lemons by hand. We had this thing we would put the lemons in and then twist. It was a LOT of lemons. My little sister squeezed the lemons a little, but she mostly helped with the cups.”

Grace, her dad Marco and little sister Emily set up a lemonade stand in their subdivision at the end of their driveway.

“We got some music and put out some fans – it was fancy,” Grace said.

Customers were able to choose the color of the cup they wanted their lemonade in – purple, blue, green or orange – and for $1, received an ice cold, and delicious, glass of homemade lemonade.

“We thought a few neighbors would come by and I posted about it on Facebook to try to get a few customers,” said Grace’s mom Melissa. “But then someone else shared it and we had friends message us asking if they could make a donation even if they weren’t in town.”

That’s because when Grace decided to make lemonade, she also knew she wanted to donate the money to “kids in the hospital.”

So, with $500 in donations, Grace visited Rapides Women’s Children’s Hospital last week to find out what those kids needed most.

She met with George Koshy, M.D., NICU Medical Director, Julie Fontenot RNC-OB, CPPS, RWCH Administrative Director, Tracy Alletag, MBS-HC, RN-BSN, NE-BC, Director of Infant and Children’s Services, Chaplain Wayne Sibley and Annetta Baum, Rapides Auxiliary President and found out toys are always a good idea!

“We have some ideas of what kids in the hospital might like,” Grace said while pulling out a folder with pictures of small stuffed animals and re-usable activity pads.

Once Grace finishes her shopping, she will donate the toys to Rapides Auxiliary for their December Toy Drive and to RWCH to use for children in the hospital this fall.

“Once we raised the money, Grace thought maybe we should just get fireworks for the kids in the hospital,” Melissa said with a laugh. “Fireworks are high on her Summer bucket list, too. But I explained fireworksprobably weren’t the best idea, so she’s happy with donating toys, too.”