Ardmore eight-year-old raises $2,000 for the Grace Center with lemonade stand

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
Eight-year-old Max Rickets shows off the sign from his lemonade stand. Last Saturday, he earned $610 selling lemonade, and donated half of his proceeds to The Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma. Once additional donations were added to the total, he raised $2,000 for the organization.
Max mans his lemonade stand in front of happyology in Thompson Square.
Max poses with Toni McBride, district manager of the Buckle. Inspired by his altruism, McBride donated over $800 for The Grace Center.
Max with Kim Radtcliffe, owner of happyology. Radtcliff allowed Max to set up his stand in front of her business, and donated over $800 to the Grace Center.
Max presents a check to The Grace Center on Thursday afternoon.

Max Rickets is not your typical eight year old. All summer long, he has wanted to get a summer job, but not many places are hiring elementary school students. Taking matters into his own hands, last Saturday he decided to run a lemonade stand. His goal was to make enough money to buy a Nintendo Switch, but he told his mother, Ariel Rickets, he also wanted to help the homeless with a portion of his earnings.

“He said, 'I want to keep some of the money and give some of the money to people who are homeless,'” she said. “So we talked about the different organizations that help the homeless in our area, and he felt like The Grace Center was the best choice for what he wanted to do.”

While shopping with his mother at Happyology in Thompson Square, he told store-owner Kim Radtcliffe about his plan, and she offered to let him set up his stand in front of her business. Both Max’s mother and Happyology made posts on their social media accounts to spread the word about the event, and once the big day came the response was overwhelming.

“It’s hard to say just how many people came, but I’d say it was between 100 and 200 people,” Ariel said. “Several people who came would hand him a $10 or a $20 bill and just tell him to keep the change, so it all added up really quickly.”

At the end of the day, Max ended up earning $610 at his lemonade stand, and he put $305 aside for The Grace Center. Inspired by Max’s altruism, Radtcliffe decided to match his donation with an additional $305. Toni McBride, district manager of The Buckle, also matched the $305 donation.

After a family friend donated another $85 to make the donation total $1,000, Radtcliffe and McBride each decided to donate another $500 a piece to make the grand total $2,000.

Max delivered the check to The Grace Center on Thursday, and he is already thinking about holding two more fundraisers later on this year. Though there are not any firm plans in place, Max and his family have a couple ideas in mind.

“We’re thinking about doing apple cider a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and possibly having a canned food drive,” Ariel said. “Then we want to do hot chocolate a bit before Christmas, and maybe have people bring along a toy to give to Toys for Tots or the Angel Tree.”

Max said he had a great time with his lemonade stand, and he enjoyed raising money to help the homeless. He’s looking forward to his cider stand and hot chocolate stand later this year.

“I’m really excited to make the apple cider and the hot chocolate and helping people,” Max said.