Behind starburst eyes

Come hell, high water or $5,000 fines the kids were having a lemonade stand for Sick Kids Hospital

on July 2, 2013

For the last 3 years my wee ones have had a lemonade stand on Canada Day. They make lemonade, cookies, jam, and candles and sell them to raise money for Sick Kids Hospital. This year’s experience was NOT what I’d hoped for them.

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It started great, we put up signs, made strawberry lemonade with strawberries we’d picked as a family at a local farm (Pingles) made original lemonade, each child got to take a turn at squeezing lemons into the pitcher. We made gluten-free cookies the night before. They helped to make jam a few days ago from the strawberries we’d picked together on Summer Solstice. I guided them on making star-shaped candles which they did with great pride and excitement and used the broken bits from their little brother’s crayons to color each one. We ran around the neighborhood and they would watch the lights for me from the corners of various streets as I would dash across the cross walks writing with sidewalk chalk across the entire thing “Lemonade Stand 4 Sick Kids Hospital” and an arrow pointing towards our home. Each child would excitedly want to be the one to pour the lemonade when a customer came, or to offer the cookie that was free with each cup.
Starting at about 1pm my son was waving a sign 4 houses down the street at the cross walk of the highway and our street and yelling “Lemonade Stand, all the money goes to Sick Kids Hospital” as cars drove by. A woman who lived across the street from where he was standing came out and told him to stop. She was not nice about it, he came back almost in tears. My brother came by to help support the kids in their endeavour was NOT happy that C was yelled at for trying to raise money for charity. So he stood at the corner with hin while my son did his best to convince every person that went by that they should buy a glass of lemonade to help out a charity that is VERY near and dear to our family.

The lady came out again and yelled again about them stopping, my brother told her that his nephew was allowed to try to help a charity and that he wasn’t harming anyone. She eventually came BACK out AGAIN and tried to give C $5 to go away. He told her “No thanks, I don’t want your money, I just want to keep doing my thing for Sick Kids” She was determined that he take it, and he was determined that he wasn’t going too. Finally, he told her “I’ll take it for Sick Kids, but I’m not going to stop, I want people to come to our lemonade stand so we can give lots of money to them”

My brother had to go so he walked C back to me, and I walked him back to the corner. This is where things got really crappy. A police car slowed down and stopped just past us. The lady had called the cops to force us to stop. As soon as I saw the police cruiser stop I told C to go back to the lemonade stand. The police officer asked a few questions and then told me he was sorry but that he had to ask us to stop as we were causing a disturbance and we didn’t have a vendors permit to run a lemonade stand. I walked back to our front yard to talk with my husband and saw that C was in tears. He was afraid that I was going to be arrested and that he’d lose his mom. I assured him that while the police officer was well within his rights to fine me but that he couldn’t take me to jail.

I then took the sign from my husband and started to walk back to the corner again. My husband asked me why I was doing it and I told him the truth “How can we teach our children to stand up for what is right and to stand strong in their convictions if we cow down instead of standing up for our own personal convictions. My conviction is that what the kids are doing is RIGHT and that they should be allowed to try to help out a charity. I will NOT back down, I will stand up for their right to be kids, to be good people, and to try their best to do good deeds. If they want to call the cops back again than so be it, I’ll pay the fines because standing behind my convictions is more important that being popular or the money it might cost us. They are worth it, the kids knowing no matter what that I support them is worth it!”

I then proceeded to yell at the very top of my momma lungs “Lemonade Stand for Sick Kids Hospital” while waving the sign at the corner for 45 more minutes, until it started to rain.
Stubborn? Yes! But wrong of me? NOPE If I don’t show them that their beliefs are important, that they are important, that I respect their efforts and that I WILL stand behind them come hell, high water or police officers with fines then how can I expect to raise adults that will be honorable, and strong enough to stand up for what they believe no matter what? How can I teach them to root themselves strong in Mother Earth and stand tall no matter the storm for whatever they believe in.

49 responses to “Come hell, high water or $5,000 fines the kids were having a lemonade stand for Sick Kids Hospital

  1. City Desk says:

    Hello Dawn-Marie….Can you contact the Toronto Sun city desk at 416.947.2211 please

  2. Go get ’em, Toronto Sun!!! That woman needs a lesson in civic duty and in not bullying children who are simply trying to do the right thing. A little “noise pollution” is nothing when compared to helping our most vulnerable members of society who are ill and need some help.

  3. Anne says:

    Get a comment from the lady who called the cops too – I’d LOVE to know what type of pole she had up her behind.

  4. Udana says:

    Hey there,

    I was wondering when and where we can get some lemonade.

    Good on you.

  5. DTM says:

    Just because a charity or hospital is close to her heart shouldn’t give you the right to yell about it anywhere but on your own property, raising money for a hospital that may have denied that lady’s child a life saving procedure because they feel the need to suck massive paycheques out of the system and say they deserve it. If I had the skill of a neurosurgeon I would do it for free. But I’m a good person.

    • misskitty79 says:

      I’m not entirely sure I understand what you’re talking about here DMT, but I’m pretty positive that, if you were looking to garner sympathy for your opinion? You’re going about it in the wrong way

    • Twinmum says:

      Clearly you have no idea! I am going to do my very best to be as nice as possible about this!First and foremost, we are in Canada! That means we do not pay for health care so no massive cheques being handed over directly from any person needing such services ๐Ÿ˜› Secondly, Sick Kids would not turn a child away! Unless you lived in a country where the surgery, procedure or treatment could be done locally, Sick Kids would do no such thing! This lady did not do this because of the poor excuse you are attempting to make for her! She did it because she is a lonely old hag that has nothing better to do then shut down innocent children trying to learn the value of a dollar by working hard to make this lemonaid and cookies themselves, not to mention teaching these children that just because you have money does not mean you cannot share with your community! This hospital has done many things for our family over the past 50+ years! From my mother-in-law, to myself, to my sister-in-law, to my nephew, to my own extremely premature twin daughters, who would not have just turned 4 years old if it weren’t for Sick Kids life saving heart surgery that was performed on my daughters when they 26 and 28 days old and weighed less than 2 lbs each!
      Further more, if you have nothing nice or caring or MEANINGFUL to say about this blog, please disconnect yourself from the plug up your ass and quite downing something that means a huge deal to our family!
      Thank you and have a nice day!

      • Robert says:

        Twinmum you are right on !!!! DTM should get off her high horse and help out. The old lady in the story is typical of the kind of person Canada does not need and when she passes the world will be that much brighter. Imagine the unmitigated gall of her shouting at the poor kid. I hope she is beset upon by the people of her neighbourhood and can never raise her nasty head in public. These shrivelled up complainers are everything that is wrong with this country. Let’s chop down trees because birds are too noisy or stop children from playing. I would gladly buy 10 glasses of lemonaide and pee on her lawn. Kudos.

    • Roy Ellis says:

      Ever heard of freedom of speech? Lol if you know Oshawa at all and the said intersection being spoken about then you would also know that transport trucks are going up and down there all the time. I’m sure they are louder than a 9 year old boy…

    • Tamara says:

      Actually, they DO have a right to yell it out. Just because you don’t like the noisee (or the hospital), doesn’t give you the right to force one to be silent. People these days are confusing discomfort with harm or insult. Just because you disagree with someone, you do not have the right to force their silence. You have the right to disagree. The woman who called the police did more than disagree, she tried to force her belief on the family by trying to use the police to intimidate and scare them into silence, and she cannot do that. Whether or not Sick Kids itself is corrupt or not, the children had no intentions of doing anything other than helping out what they believed was a good hospital, and especially being kids helping a hospital for kids would have special meaning for them. What has this women who called the police taught them? That it is OK to use force to intimidate people you disagree with and to enforce your will upon them… Thankfully, this mother taught these children that even if intimidated, standing up for what you believe in is right, rather than bowing down to a superior (but in the wrong) authority figure. She was able to reverse the damage. Do we want children growing up believing using force and intimidation on those they disagree with is acceptable? Or do we want to teach them to stand up for their principles even in the face of adversity?

      You have the right to speak against the hospital, but not to silence others who would support them. Freedom of expression/ speech/beliefs works both ways. If you silence one side, you can silence the other.

  6. naomi says:

    Mama, you are a ROCK STAR and I salute you…as a mother and as a citizen. Powerful message sent about what is right and mucho respect for not dissing the police who came to do what we pay them to do. Glad you didn’t get a fine and even if you did I would have helped with paying. Sometimes a little civil disobedience is necessary to make the world a better place.

  7. Sara says:

    Wow. I can’t even believe this really happened. I am so proud of you. This is what I try to give my children. And DTM – you’re an ass. Seriously!!!

  8. trina says:

    i agree with Naomi 100%. most parents don’t spend much time teaching their children that first of all, we should be charitable, and second of all that you can do that in many ways besides just handing someone a cheque and that thirdly, once you find something like this that you believe in, that you should fight for it, make it work and try to do it peacefully. I am sure those cops really didn’t want to respond to a call like that, and I too would have taken the fine. we need more parents that invest in their kids, teaching them, not only to care about other and to do good in this world however you can, but that they are important from the moment they draw breath and that their parents are their biggest fans, and really to be as close to superheros as you can get. well done mom, those kids are going to make their mark on this world in part to what you chose to do that day!

  9. Kari says:

    I think you were in the wrong here. It is great that you have a passion for Sick Kids and that you are teaching your kids to be charitable. However it isn’t your right to disrupt your neighbours to suit your own purposes.

    What if that lady and her husband were trying to enjoy a quiet Canada in their yard and were subject to your family’s yelling. If you are disturbing others then it isn’t ok.

    What you and your brother have done is to teach your children that putting out others to suit your own purposes is okay.

    I am not saying the other lady handled it well either – calling the cops was certainly excessive.

    You both behaved badly.

    As someone who works for public health inspection I know the permit rule is excessive but if someone had have fallen ill from the Jam you made in your home you could be liable for millions.

    However given the situation the cops should have let it go.

    If you want to support Sick Kids I suggest that you and your family walk/run in the Sporting Life 10K in Toronto in May. I run it each year and my team raised over 14,000 last year.

    • Gaz says:

      you know, i read this and was like wtf how could you shut down a kids lemonade stand raising money for sick kids but reading your comment has given me some perspective on this and i think your right.

    • Ted says:

      Are you out of your mind. Kari? Perhaps you ought to investigate what disturbing the peace is. The officer who issued the ticket was wrong to do so (and if I were in that mother’s place, I’d be challenging it). There is no way that one kid yelling about a lemonade stand created to support a children’s charity qualifies. That some worthless old hag complains about it is not sufficient cause to put a muzzle on a kid. I have seen the same sort of old hag complain about the noise of children playing in a neighborhood park (of course, in my experience, any police officer responding to such nonsense laughed at the complainant, telling them to get a life, and leave the kids alone); as if the epitomy of peace is a neighborhood as quiet as a graveyard. To my ear, such “noise” is a special kind of music. During the day, in a public space, kids, and everyone else, has every right to speak, or even yell. I am the sort of grumpy old curmudgeon that, uness there is violence, would enjoy, even celebrate children at play, and even more so those that put that kind of effort into helping others that the kids in question here have done. That old hag’s complaint, and your nonsense, is as ludicrous as complaining about children laughing in a playground. I have seen such nonsense before, and, as you might guess, I always come down on the side of the kids. Noise bylaws generally apply only at night, but I am sure that a kid yelling isn’t sufficient to warrant bylaw enforcement even at night: a kid simply can’t yell loud enough to violate any rational noise bylaw I have seen (look it up for yourself, as most municipalities have them).

      And then you spew forth the nonsense that it is possible that someone might get sick from fresh, homemade jam; almost as if you want to demonstrate that the space between your ears is evidence of a naturally occuring vacuum. And to finish off, you boast that you and your buddies raised over $14k. That is insulting to the kids who tried to do something to help. That family walk/run may be fine if you’re in good health, but when you get to be as ancient as I am, with the health issues I endure, it is not an option. But I can patronize a lemonade stand that has the same goal, and I make great cookies, pies and tarts, all sugar free, that I could have contributed, and would have, if an opportunity to do so arose at a venue I could actually get to (and if I had sufficent notice), as I am sure many can do.

      To be blunt, what that woman, and her family, attempted to do with her kids is noble, and it appears that this time, her kids also learned that whenever you try to do something good, there will always be some scurrilous scoundrel out to stop you. And this lady further taught her kids that you have to stick up for your beliefs and rights. My response to you may seem harsh, but I do not suffer fools well.

      And if the bylaws governing vendor permits is really so badly written as to target children’s lemonade stands, then she ought to raise hell at city hall to pressure them to fix it. There is an obvious need for permits for businesses, especially those involved in food preparation, but only an idiot would apply such a thing to a family’s home, or a child’s lemonade stand. There is no way that a parent would let anything leave his or her kitchen that could conceivably harm her children, or anyone else. Everyone I have known involved in municipal government has known this; but then maybe I have just been lucky enough not to meet a civil servant who was too cognitively challenged to know this.

      • Kari says:

        Wow what happened to Honour Thy Neighbour.

        Ted you clearly missed my point…

        I said that it was overboard for the neighbour to call the cops and certainly overboard for the cops to charge the family.

        BUT as a mother and uncle it was not appropriate to exacerbate the situation. That means… DON’T MAKE THE SITUATION WORSE. If a crusty neighbour was harassing my kids I wouldn’t tell them to be nosier I would tell them to play elsewhere and not fuel the fire.

        My point was that the mother escalated the situation and she shouldn’t have. You don’t poke the lion. If the lady is showing signs of being a little crazy you don’t taunt her. You move on.

        I agree that the rule about the permit isn’t a great one but it what our government has no choice all the idiots who have sued churches or a school groups after falling ill after purchasing homemade items.

        I mentioned the Sporting Life marathon because it is a great way to support sick kids and a great family event. Clearly there are some old crusty people like you Ted, who cant participate. But if this lady wants to do something as a family to support it is a fun option. I am proud that I raised $14k for the charity.

        Perhaps you should have clearly read and understood my post before commenting.

      • Ted says:


        I completely understood what you wrote and largely disagreed with you. Disagreement does not imply misunderstanding (another mistake that I have seen many in power make). I bluntly pointed your errors, and now you have made more.

        “Honour Thy Neighbor” is sheer folly indicating a complete lack of undertanding of the nature of honour (alas, all too common these days). Honour is a character trait that can be at best recognised in people like our parents. Honour is that character trait in which one does what is right come hell or high water. That is something the mother, uncle, and children, demonstrated. Integrity is like it, save that the latter involves a conscious choice to try to consistently do what is right.

        The woman who harassed the child was behaving as a neighborhood bully aimed at ending his activity, his attempt to do good. Your strategy of running away and hiding in the face of such conduct is foolishness. It lets the bullies gain complete control of a community. Yes, I have personally observed that even seniors engage in bullying, and I have seen them harass young parents to the point that the parents are terrified of the notion of appearing anywhere in public with their kids. They forgo the option of eating out with their kids, and one parent stays home while the other does whatever shopping is needed; becoming prisoners, with their kids, in their homes. The approach of not confronting adults, neighbors, who do wrong is a guarantee that everyone’s freedom is reduced or eliminated. Your strategy, in fact, has happened often in history, always with disastrous results. It is known as appeasement. Some of us are old enough to remember how Chamberlain’s appeasement policy turned out. The history books are filled with comparable disasters. Bullies, whether a neighborhood bully or a nation-state governed by a tyrant, juvenile school-yard bullies, or senior citizens who delight in making life difficult for kids, must always be confronted and forced to comply with civilised standards of conduct, which in this particular case, involves encouraging the children to do what is both good and right. The kids in this case did nothing to warrant rebuke, and neither did the parents, and uncle.

        I would not suggest taunting the woman who harassed the child, but I would insist on confronting her, bluntly telling her that her demands are unacceptable; in the politest terms possible, of course.

        Thus, your biggest error is your rebuke of the mother and uncle. And your other errors feed into this one.

        I maintain that your mention of the Sporting Life marathon respresents an insult, especially when you had already rebuked the parents for proceeding with a lemonade stand and their attempts to advertise it within their neighborhood. Your action in raising so much money is laudable, but to use that in a rebuke of parents who attempted to raise funds is not. You basically told them that they couldn’t possibly raise as much as you did, and that their whole attempt to raise funds was wrong, that they should instead have participated in an officially sanctioned event. What is implied in what you wrote is that small, private actions of individuals to try to do good are not acceptable, and that they are irrelevant anyway, and, worse, that only actions in officially sanction events can be condoned. Indeed, your mention of the permitting question is just another component of your attack on the parents for considering helping the kids operate a lemonade stand (something many of my generation of both operated and patronized with no ill effect for anyone).

        I maintain that what that whole family did is praiseworthy, and that those who are inclined to criticise them (groundlessly as far as I can see), represent just evidence that every attempt to do good will eventually be attacked, for a variety of motives know only to the critics.

        The only suggestion I would have made to the parents in question is to consider distributing fliers to all the neighbors, telling them of their plans and inviting any others who might be interested to create complementary ‘stands’, and to actually make it a community effort. But in a place like Toronto (where I was born and raised), in which very few peope know their neighbors, or care about their welfare, that may not be feasible. But when I think of the possibilities in the community where I was raised, there was representation of dozens of different ehtnicities, and my mouth waters at the thought of being able to taste, in such an event, a number of differnet asian cuisines that are amenable to such an event (and which are commonplace in hawker centers in south asia), in addition to several european foods, in addition to the lemonade with which I was intimately familiar. But from what you wrote, you’d have a fit at the thought of such a thing, unless sanctioned and controlled by some tyrant, excuse me, civil servant, from city hall, because of a belief that mothers don’t know how to make healthy food (something I find highly offensive), or perhaps because of the possibility that some cognitively challenged individual in some local court might do something stupid yet again.

      • OldHag47 says:

        Yes, the ATTEMPT was noble… but the actions after the fact were not.

        I don’t believe anyone was fined in this situation…. she doesn’t state it clearly in her story but the SUN story stated clearly no one was fined.

        I also don’t think it’s fair to the woman complaining to refer to her as an Old Hag… we don’t know the truth to the story… PERSONALLY… if I saw a kid standing on a corner alone yelling. I would go to that child and ask “why are you yelling” and “where are your parents”. We don’t truthfully know how the situation went down! No parent was present… this kid was basically alone and no one seemed to be watching them to witness the woman’s first contact (and most kids get started and afraid when approached by an adult). I haven’t a clue this child’s age, neither do I care frankly – if they are young enough to go to their parents in tears they shouldn’t have been alone in the first place near a high way. When the woman offered the $5 to “go away” they should have said “thank you, sorry to have bothered you this will all go to charity” Kept the lemonade stand and put up a sign or yelled out side someone else’s house. They to me come off as bullies in this situation. They returned to the out side of this woman’s house TWICE.

        And ‘run/walks’ .. You say you cant participate first hand… that isn’t how they make the money… you sponsor someone who is running if you cant run yourself.

        Here is a fun fact… I too like “sugar free” and “gluten free” baked goods… but you know what? THAT DOESNT MAKE ME, YOU, OR THESE PARENTS BETTER PEOPLE. Nor does making reference to “MOTHER EARTH” or “SUMMER SOLSTICE”… You seem to have intelligence. Perhaps you should use it to read between the lines of a story. This article is white washed with a couple “look I am a good person” lines all over it.

        I feel bad for the neighbour lady… that’s right! I do… you know why… we don’t know her side of the story… and within this neighbourhood her name is now mud, because some bull headed mother couldn’t admit what she did wasn’t exactly golden… so she decided to push blame on the responding officer and this neighbour (for all we know may have called the police to let them know there was an unaccompanied minor near a high way yelling). Child runs home in tears… scared… so the mother in this situation then decides to allow the child back this time with an adult to the same location… and perhaps the discussion with the uncle was more like a confrontation with an “old hag” for making a child cry… did you think about that maybe? The neighbour might have been looking out for this kid. Now she is made in to a charity hating villain. Not fair. Not neighbourly. And most certainly not noble.

      • misskitty79 says:

        Ted, I cannot see how suggesting alternate, sanctioned forms of fundraising could ever be concidered insulting. The more options people are aware of, the more likely people will be to contribute.

      • Ted says:

        misskitty79, it is not the suggestion of an alternative that is insulting, in itself. If it wre a brainstorming session as to good ways to help Sick Kids, it would be welcome. However, when combined with a rebuke that claims their attempt was all wrong, and implying their attempts could not possibly generate a significant amount of money (the reference to his own attempts, with a team, generating $14k), that it becomes insulting.

      • Ted says:


        You ask me to read between the lines? Here is what I know.

        1) The child in question was standing, and yelling, at a crosswalk four houses down from his home. Unless the geometry of that street was unusual, the child would still have been within view of the family at the lemonade stand. And with the family that close, the woman’s treatment had to be especially bad if he was reduced to tears.
        2) In my experience, children generally do not become afraid or intimidated when approached by a stranger if the stranger is not aggressive. Quite the reverse, I have often been approach by children whom I did not know. I am reminded of a three year old neighbor (I was told where she lived by another child who also approached), and she put on the cutest pout, her clenched fists on her hips, and declared that she was mad. When I asked why, she told me that her Daddy was making the family move to follow his work. When I asked why that made her mad, she told me that she didn’t want to move because she wanted to play with my dog (which out-weighed her by at least 40 pounds), and with that, she approached my dog and gave her a big hug. When I worked on my first degree, one of the jobs I had was that of a security officer in Ontario Housing, and had a chance to observe countless children interacting with themselves and with adults, often with adults they did not know. Never did a child react in fear, or run away in tears, because an adult they didn’t know talked to them, when the adult conducted himself with kindness and gentleness. They always reacted with fear, and often tears, when the adult was verbally agressive (and more so when the adult threatened physical violence, but violence does not appear to have been a factor in this instance).

        As a side note, I have seen plenty of officers, and while most are decent, hardworking people, I have met more than a few that were arrogant, and inclined to issue tickets to, and to verbally bully, people just because they could. We can’t know in this case without talking to the officer in question.

        Perhaps a counter example would help. I frequently observed my mother, from whom I learned how to deal with kids, speak with kids we did not know, and even when the child was upset, she could get the child calmed in less than a minute, and as she had a way with words, she could correct a child that was misbehaving and still have the child walk away (or my mother would walk with the child to reunite him or her with his or her parents, if the child was really too young to be left unattended) with a smile on his face. Her approach to children worked even with strong willed children (and she always worked to nurture a strong will, rather than break it, because a strong willed child who is nurtuered in the practice of doing both what is right and what is good will become a good man or woman to continues to focus on doing both what is right and what is good). Never has a child reacted to me, or indeed anyone I personally know, with either fear or tears, and this is regardless of the presence or absense of a prior relationship with the child.

        Now a question for you. If there is an apparently unattended child that is yelling, what should a good, responsible man or woman do? If the child is too young to be alone, do you rebuke him, tell him to shut up and go home, or do you ask what he’s doing, why, and where his family is? And if it is in his best interest to go home, so he can return to do what he was doing with proper supervision, surely a good man would walk with him back to his (the child’s) home, and explain the need for the child to be supervised when standing in that specific public place. Indeed, if I observed such a thing, and I was not working, I would likely have volunteered to get a lawn chair so I could sit by him while he’s doing his thing. I know my mother would have done this. When a child is trying to do something good, he must be encouraged to comtinue to do so even by people who hear of it and who happen not to know him. That the woman who reduced the child to tears did not do this is evidence that she was not concerned about the child’s welfare, or why he was doing what he was doing, but rather was just out to stop him from doing something good.

        A second consideration is that the place where the boy was yelling, trying to promote the lemonade stand, may have been the best place to get attention. It was, after all, at a cross wlak on a main thoroughfare (something that suggests that the boy’s yelling was likely at most a minor inconvenience, barely audible over the traffic noise). I know that when I am in Toronto, walking down any major street, I often have to yell just to be heard by the person walking with me, because of traffic noise.

        One thing is certain. The child was in a public place. Therefore, there is no legal, or I suggest, ethical, basis for even attempting to stop his efforts. And therefore, the woman who was so unkind to the child is the bully in this case, without a doubt, and it was right, and noble, for his family to stand up to her. In the rare occassion when I deal with a bully, I always defy him or her. There is a reason why some, notably those who pride themselves on being politically correct, regard me as a grumpy old curmudgeon. That is in marked constrast to how kids regard me. I even had one toddler stop me in Walmart, and yell at the top of her lungs, pointing at me, “Santa! Santa!” Of course her parents laughed, but she insisted on giving Santa a big hug. I guess it was my robust figure and full beard. I got her quiet by promising she’d have a good christmas if she made sure she was good for her parents, and quiet, because, I told her, I was indisguise so I could have a holiday. She solemnly promised to keep my secret.

        It is always foolish to just submit to the demands of bullies, whether old hags or young thugs. In this case, it was a woman who wanted to stop the boy advertizing the lemonade stand at a crosswalk. In other cases, it could be a muslim objecting to non-muslims wearing green garments, or objecting to women wearing short skirts or not waering a head covering. If bullies, of whatever stripe, are not defied in every instance, they will control the lived of everyone around them. That someone objects to what you’re doing in a public place or what you’re wearing, or simply who you are (something commonplace in the muslim world, and in certain communities in the west), is never justification to back down and submit to unjust demands. Standing up for what is right, even when some are offended when you do so, is just as important and noble as trying to help a charity such as Sick Kids.

        As an aside, you are the only person who has mentioned the question or absense of a relation between making sugar free cookies, or what passes for environmental ethics these days, and being a ‘better person’. It seems to me only an idiot would imply that there might be such a relation, so to set that up as something to reject smells of irrelevant creation and tearing down of a straw man.

        As another aside, the term old hag here can refer to any woman who is significantly older than her victim, and while hag refers to someone who is ‘unattractive’, in this context, refers to the individual’s character rather than her physical appearance. This, in this context, someone as physically pretty as Pamela Anderson and who has a habit of verbally abusing children qualifies as an old hag.

      • ted,
        Your comments and replies have made myself and my husband smile. Thank-you for your kind support and encouraging words about the whole thing ๐Ÿ˜€

      • OldHag47 says:


        A fully “educated” individual… would look at the facts in front of them from all parties before casting judgement on an individual. There was NO PROOF… that this woman verbally attacked this child – from either the cops stand point or this parents recollection (as the “confrontation” was not witnessed… only the reaction from the child was – and their report of the second interaction which was probably already emotionally driven by both parties…)

        Trust me… if my child told me some woman yelled at them I would be upset. I probably wouldn’t react in the best way either. But, there comes a point where you have to look back on the situation… and think… did that woman deserve my reaction? Did my children need to see me act a fool to prove a point? or Did I really need to call the cops? Was that boys uncle threatening me? or the poor officer who was probably just dealing with a massive misunderstanding on both parties and did what he thought to keep the peace. And the mother in a rage probably stated how she felt… and he probably put out the empty threat of a fine. CAUSE COPS DONT LIKE WRITING TICKETS FOR THIS STUFF. They dont, they get pushed into situation where they have to… or put out a threat that they have to. I know you think your right… but, the chances of this cop being ticket happy is slim. AND THEY DIDNT GET FINED.

        Then in my reply to you… where I didn’t say anything negative towards you. Just asked to see it from a different angle and I questioned… why does this the poster seem to feel the need to fill her story with “trendy granola catch phrases” she could have simply stated “the kids made freshly squeezed lemonade with strawberries and we baked cookies” but she felt the need to sweeten the story by stating that she didnt make the crappy cookies that give majority of the public stomach problems and aid in the creation of cancer cells. But, because I question this action … you feel the need to call me an idiot? Really… well if I am an idiot for not siding directly with someone when I dont have all the facts… and their story seems a little ‘puffed up’ with unnecessary dribble.

        However, after reading some other responses you have left… it is clear you dont like to see more than one side to a story. You totally went on a tangent from Kari’s response… as you did mine (making it more about some long winded story about how most children you have encountered are not afraid of adults)… and not to mention you felt the need to type “When I worked on my first degree…”Why? Why make mention of that? What… if anything has your past education to do with this? (perhaps its for the same reasons one would mention gluten free cookies?)

        Then you hinted you look like Santa… translation you’re older. And when you’re older you should know better than assume someone is an “old hag” or verbally attacked a child… and you’re old enough to know that calling people “idiots” or “out of their minds” for having a different view or take on a story is also in such poor taste.

        I was taught to respect my elders. And dont get me wrong… I respect you (unlike you I dont cast judgement on people). I wish you well and the best of health. I am glad you eat healthy… I do too. I am glad you’re educated… I am as well. But, I am sad that you are filled with quick judgement.

        All the best to you and all the parties involved in this situation.

      • To you they might be “trendy granola catch phrases” but they are in fact not that to our family. I spoke of Summer Solstice and Mother Earth because they mean something to me and to my family. We are openly Pagan, and so Summer Solstice is a day of celebration to us personally, which I wrote about previously in this blog:
        Mother Earth is more than just a phrase I use to make myself look better:
        Both of those previous posts are from prior to Canada Day, and to make it clear, I don’t call myself Pagan because it’s a trendy granola catch phrase to use either. I was raised in a multi-faith home, and one of those was Astru, it’s not something that I did to be trendy, it’s simply how I was raised.

        I was polite with the police officer because he had done nothing wrong whatsoever. It is NOT up to him what calls he must respond to, nor what laws or by-laws he should enforce. Did I make myself look like a fool in front of my children, in my opinion no I did not. Is that an opinion you would agree with, perhaps, perhaps not. Either one is fine because at the heart of it all, the only person who must live with all of my choices and be at peace with them is me. Yes I am aware that my children are affected by my choices, but I still have to make the choices I feel are right at the time with the knowledge and experience I have at that exact moment. No more, no less, just as everyone must. Will all my choices be perfect and right? NO! How could they, I’m human, but I still stand behind my actions on that day.

        As for “sweetening the story” by mentioning that the cookies I made were gluten-free instead of the “crappy ones” I personally have loved what you deem crappy since childhood. I wish I could enjoy some delicious NOT crappy wheat-filled chocolate chip cookies without getting sick. I was not trying to make myself look better, I was happy that I was able to make something that a friend of mine and I could enjoy as well. I have written a few posts prior to this one that are only about gluten-free recipes I’ve tried, with the recipe included incase others would like to try them as well.

    • Tamara says:

      What if one person wants quiet and another person wants to play loud music during the day when it is legal for them to do so? You cannot violate other’s rights because you feel inconvenienced.

  10. sarah says:

    First and foremost, WAY TO GO MOMMA!!!! What an incredible teaching moment/life lesson for your family & way to stand up for your convictions! But in all fairness did anyone ask her why she wanted it to stop? Maybe she worked midnights and it was affecting her sleep (my mom who should be able to retire but can’t does) or she was sick with a migrane or something. Perhaps she was a cranky heartless B**ch without a heart, who knows. But it nay also be a valuable lesson in peace keeping, forgiveness and problem solving to work it out so everyone wins. However, as an incredible stubborn momma bear type, I would probably have done something very similar when seeing my sweet little one an emitional wreck after trying and preparing so hard to support such a good cause. There may be some follow up that needs to happen, which is just as important as the moral convictions.

    • Kari says:

      I agree Sarah with the comment about peace keeping, forgiveness etc. It doesn’t really matter why the neighbour wanted to noise to stop. If it were my kids I would have taken them and moved on not turned a neighbour asking them to stop yelling in to a situation that required the police. How dramatic.

      Also keep in mind that when the neighbour initially asked the child to stop he was alone. If an unknown adult approached my child and told him to knock it off he would have come back crying also. Just because he was asked to keep it down doesn’t mean the neighbour was mean. Being talked to sternly by unknown adult would set off most kids.

      I am sure she got mean when the adults joined the kids in screaming at the top of her lungs.

      • OldHag47 says:

        Totally agree with both of you! There is a massive chunk missing from this story. In my eyes… the cop tired to keep the peace in this ‘misunderstanding’… and the mother probably was very upset … forcing him to threaten them with a ticket (that is really the only logical reason the cop would make mere mention of a fine/permit… whatever).

        After this blows over I think she should bring cookies to the neighbour (who’s name is probably now tarnished in the neighbourhood) and make peace.

  11. dave grandy says:

    as people use sickids hospital it becomes close to there heart .i support you 100 percent
    this person needs to know whatt his charity is all about then i bet y ou they would be standing beside you

  12. Karen says:

    I applaud you for standing up for a charity that you and your family believe in! Charities have fundraisers all the time and don’t get in trouble for making noise to attract people (ie. Car washes are a big one!). What does she do if children are next door playing? I’m sure that makes much more noise and for much longer periods of time. For the sake of a great cause, if it bothers anyone that much then close your windows for a little while, run some errands or better yet – take a walk and support your neighbours fundraiser by buying something or even offering to help out for an hour or so!

  13. Mae says:

    I really dislike the ‘old hag’ comments… Does anyone actually know this woman’s situation? What if she herself suffers from some kind of illness? What if one of her loved ones was ill and needed rest?

    I think it’s pretty unfair to harshly judge this woman without knowing why she needed quiet. Wouldn’t you all feel a little bit awful about your comments if you found out she was suffering from an illness and doing her very best to rest?

    I don’t think we have the full story here, and to judge her an ‘old hag’ without the entire story is pretty awful.

    • HonestyIsHeroic says:

      I have to agree with you. There is no background on the neighbour. Who knows if they suffer from annoying-next-door-child-syndrome? or any other mental health issue that most of society is ignorant with regards to.

    • Ted says:

      It really doesn’t matter what her circumstance is. There is nothing that justifies verbally attacking a child, reducing him to tears. The term ‘old hag’ is an apt descriptor for an old woman who is that nasty to a child. And in my decades of experience, I have seen plenty of such old hags that treated children badly. The only time it is appropriate in intervene in what a child is doing, especially when the child is not your own, is when the child is involved in a violent crime or doing something that could bring serious injury to himself or another person.

      To be clear, I am well aware of the impact of illness, and have nothing but compassion for those who suffer. I have endured periferal neuropathy, which causes extreme pain in my hands and feet, since 1995. And since 2007, I have had a severe headache 24×7, which my neurologist tells me is as severe as a migraine, but not a migraine because I don’t have the other symptoms normally associated with migraines. He is, in act, baffled as to the cause, and there is no safe, effective treatment, so I have no options but to endure. But even with that intense pain, from which only death will provide relief, there’d be a cold day in hell before I even considered treating a child as badly as that woman treated that boy.

      There is no circumstance in which one’s personal, or one’s family’s, distress can justify treating a child badly, let alone thwarting the child’s efforts to do good.

      • RLL54 says:

        I’ve responded below my reactions… I just want to note to you Mr. Ted…
        We do not know the full story for all parties.

        The fact that the family was issued a fine… tells me that when approached by the officer they might not have acted in the way the portray themselves.

        Officers only hand out fines in situations like this if the offending party started acting unfavourably towards the police officer. I am sure there would have only been a warning otherwise. Remember… it’s extra paper work for them in the end.

    • aimee says:

      If that was the case then why didn’t she simply explain her situation to the brother or the mother? From what I can tell this family seems to be a pretty understanding family and if such a case was at hand then they would have understood and stopped.
      This ‘old hag’ it seems was just being an old grumpy woman who wanted nothing more then to ruin someone else’s day.

    • misskitty79 says:

      I agree too Mae. The word “hag” is a disparaging term used to belittle a woman by insinuating that she is ugly, but this story has included neither age, nor appearance descriptors. Dawn-Marie used the words “lay” & “woman”. Nothing more, & nothing less.
      So let’s stick to those as well, shall we?

  14. HonestyIsHeroic says:

    In my experience yelling doesn’t help, more visible signs works as does promotion. My colleague’s child organized this exact same thing but did it in an apartment complex, advertised to her colleagues, her child’s teacher/class, her apartment building, and put signs up. They raised a lot of money and did so without being disruptive.

    Honestly, your child’s yelling is probably fine but could be annoying (ever heard a child repeat the same thing countless times? yea it’s brutal) and the old lady was in her right to complain (and I mean this as complain to you, not to bylaw which is really just a city-hired parent for neighbours who don’t get along). Your bullying of the old lady is disgraceful as it seems neither of you were on speaking terms to begin with so I imagine that you do not know all your neighbours too well (or maybe just your two personalities clash and that was a bad day).

    I applaud your efforts but it sounds like some civility was needed by both parties and I expect that your next lemonade stand will be much more successful with the lessons learned and the media attention you have now gathered.

  15. aimeed856 says:

    I can’t believe that there are people out there that would try to stop a child from having a lemonade stand. What is this world coming to?
    Good for you for standing up to that bully!!!! She’s lucky you were so nice about it

  16. Shanna says:

    I am completely behind this family! I am sorry, but if you have a problem with children making noise, then move to the country! I live on a street where there are lots of children and elderly people, and we have no difficulties getting along. I keep my children out of their beautiful yards and gardens, and they smile at my children riding their bikes down the street, making a lot of noise. We are suppose to live in harmony as much as possible, but this lady decided to create more problems then necessary…she should have spoken to the parents and not the child in the first place if she wanted to discuss things. Sounds to me like she needs to learn how to get along with her neighbours, not the other way around. Sad to read about that people treat others this way.

  17. RLL54 says:

    All parties are in the wrong. Sorry… We are only hearing one side of a story here…

    I am sure the cop probably would have left with just a warning… but it sounds like the ‘lemonade party’ might have given him a hard time… thus, issuing a ticket (it’s what they do if you piss them off).

    Neighbour lady (HOW DARE ANYONE REFER TO A WOMAN THEY DO NOT KNOW AS AN OLD HAG!) may have thought the noise was excessive. Sure her heart my not have been in the “right place” but we don’t know how excess the noise was. For all we know they could have been blowing horns and banging pots and pans.

    The parent (writer of this story), yes it is nice to do something nice for charity. In the future I think you should post signage and advertising to let the whole neighbourhood know there is a charity lemonade stand happening.

    And that is the fundamental difference between this situation and those charitable car washes/galas/runs. They are advertised… the public know to expect more than usual noise and crowds.

    Let’s all ask ourselves this… Would we all be feeling the same if the lemonade stand wasn’t for charity? I feel the writer thinks she and her family are “more in the right” because it was for charity. Is the writer the better person cause they baked gluten free cookies? or hand pick strawberries from a local farm? Two points that seem redundant to the case… and are added purely to sway the public.

    I type this as someone who has benefitted personally from the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital (from birth to the age of five). I support those who wish to support and collect money for the charity. You should have listened to the officer (then you probably wouldn’t have been fined). Made posters and advertised for the following weekend (like a past poster suggests). Let all the neighbours know… ask if they want to contribute baked goods or whatever.

    Next time, do charity with complete kindness in your heart and not for your own agenda or personal means or to prove a point. Keep a level head… that is the lesson you SHOULD have taught your children.

    I know my response might not be popular with some people. But, I will end it with this… I think you and you children should go and apologize to the woman across the street. Show your children you can be the bigger person. This world needs more kindness. I know you tired to show it… but in the end you soured it by being stubborn, selfish and angry. Three traits that are so very uncharitable. Yes, it is important to teach sticking to your guns for what you believe in. But, it is more valuable to stick to those guns with a clean conscience and peaceful means.

    Best of luck with your hopefully well advertised lemonade stand in the future.

    • OldHag47 says:

      Glad to see a second party questioning why we need to know they made gluten cookies. I was called an idiot for saying that. You and I can be idiots together.

      Dont worry, no one was fined. I think if she would be willing to get fined the $5,000 she should have just stopped and gave the $5,000 to Sick Kids. (if a ticket had been issued I am sure it would have been dropped or the cop would be a no show in court)

      • I mentioned that they were gluten-free because they were. We had a friend coming that has Celiac’s Disease and so I was happy that we had made cookies he could enjoy as well.

      • Ted says:

        I suspected as much. I am diabetic, so ALL my baked goods are sugar free. That is important as most members of my family are diabetic also, so they need to know: they’d avoid the baked goods otherwise as the sugar that would normally be in the baked goods would cause them major health issues (having one of my butter tarts has the same impact on them as having about half a dozen raisons, whereas any commercially available butter tart of the same size would have them feeling quite ill for about 24 hours, and there’d be the expected tissue damage normally associated with elevated blood sugar levels – of course, the impact varies from one diabetic to another, but those I know react very badly to simple sugars). If it was salad, I’d ask about whether or not there are bell peppers, as my nephew is alergic (and exposure would likely result in death), much as I’d mention use of nuts in my baked goods, because of the risk to those who have nut allergies. While I use a lot of peppers, I keep them away if I know my nephew will be present. The idiocy is in claiming there is, or even might be, an inference that making such things, or saying that they are what they are, implies anything about a person that does so being better than anyone else.

    • Tamara says:

      i don’t think all parties are in the wrong…. what gives her the right to force silence on others for making noise during the day? She can disagree with them on their beliefs, but she can’t force then to be silent in them. They have the right to raise money for charity, as they have the right to any protest… you can’t silence people just because you disagree with them.

      As for the hag comment, not all of us called her that. She probably started off polite, but when the child (and family) didn’t follow what she wanted, she probably got upset, as she in human, and eventually because of this and repeatedly telling the child to stop, he probably felt intimidated. As for them creating a disturbance, again people are allowed to disagree, and they are allowed to express their beliefs and raising money for charity this was was perfectly within their rights. Why do people mistake disagreement and inconvenience with harm or attack or disturbance worthy of police/ legal action? Geez!

      They were loud and advocating something the woman didn’t like. That is inconvenient, NOT a violation of that women’s rights at all and calling the police on the family was not right.

  18. E. says:

    Yes, kids run and play and make noise, but a child yelling for a prolonged period of time in front of someone else’s house is excessive and they should be stopped by their parents.

    While the neighbour over-reacted and while it was completely inappropriate for her to approach your son about yelling in front of her house (she should have asked you to tell your child not to yell), she had every right to quiet enjoyment of her property without being disturbed.

    Good cause or not, it isn’t right to make a nuisance of yourself or your children. I don’t have much sympathy for the neighbour, because she handled it inappropriately, but I don’t agree with you either, as you just taught your kids that they can be inconsiderate of other people in pursuit of good causes (ie. that the ends justify the means).

    • I understand your point, but he wasn’t infront of her home, he was across the street, and her house is not a place of quite, it can’t be considering it’s on a highway that’s busy all day and all night with cars, and transport trucks.

  19. OldHag47 says:

    *gluten FREE cookies…. ooops.

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