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Charlie Fitzgerald, 6, sells lemonade for library

MADISON – Six-year-old Charlie Fitzgerald went in to action to fundraise for one of her favorite spots in town, Madison Public Library.

“One late afternoon in the Children’s Department, Charlie came up to me and asked if we need help raising money for the new library,” Youth Services Librarian Lisa Blackmon said. “She and I talked about the new building, including the toys and Madison Children’s Garden – A Living Library.”

Blackmon told Charlie that she didn’t know about any solid plans for the children’s garden. “Charlie especially enjoys the garden here and would like to help make sure the new library is amazing, inside and out,” Blackmon said.

Eliza Fitzgerald, Charlie’s mother, told Blackmon that Charlie had been thinking about doing some kind of lemonade stand or similar project to help the library. “A lemonade stand? That gave me an idea,” Blackmon said.

“I had just come from notifying winners of the Summer Reading raffle. We had one extra prize left over somehow,” Blackmon said. Blackmon showed the leftover prize to Eliza — a pitcher filled with lemonade mix, poster board, a stirring spoon and other items for a lemonade stand kit.

“I told a somewhat astonished Ms. Fitzgerald that I believed the kit was meant for her daughter. We presented Charlie with the pitcher of goodies, and I told Charlie how thoughtful and exciting I thought her idea was,” Blackmon said.

About two weeks later, Charlie and Eliza visited the library. Charlie was holding her money jar with more than $50. “There’s a dime in there,” Charlie said, pointing out the smaller donation to Blackmon.

Assistant Branch Manager Amanda Campbell and Blackmon “received the jar with ceremony. We expressed how thankful and proud we are. We talked about the new garden. Charlie prefers pink and blue flowers for planting,” Blackmon said.

As a follow-up, Charlie has been recruiting other youngsters to help raise money, too.

The new library’s address is 142 Plaza Blvd., just two doors east of its current location. The new library will be 25,000 square feet, which is 10,000 square feet larger than the current library.

For more information, call 256-461-0046 or visit hmcpl.org.

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