Tessa McConville, of Abilene, is nine years old and is a member of the Abilene American Legion Auxiliary. She was the first member of their Junior Division. Her grandfather and her uncle both served in the military and her family is very involved with the American Legion.
Tessa wanted to do something for veterans and decided she would have a lemonade stand. She worked with the American Legion and her family to advertise and conduct the lemonade stand with homemade lemonade using her neighbor’s recipe. Tessa was originally going to have the stand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but due to high demand she continued on until after 7 p.m. Amazingly, in one day she raised $886 for veterans. In the ensuing weeks, more donations were received and she raised a total of $1,021.
Tessa’s family had heard about the Kansas Veterans’ Home from the wife of a former resident, so she decided that is where the money should go. Tessa, along with her mom, dad and family friend Bob, made the trip to the Kansas Veterans’ Home in Winfield on July 2 to present a check for the entire amount to the veterans. Resident veterans Billy Larimore, Leonard Dunn, and Bill Mitchell were on hand to accept the check along with KVH staff. Tessa’s family also donated some homemade lemonade and homemade cookies for the residents to enjoy.
The check will be deposited into the Resident Benefit Fund, a fund dedicated to be used only for resident activities such as trips to museums and many other exciting places. The fund can also be used for special events, snacks and a wide variety of other resident activities. The use of the fund is voted on by the residents themselves.
Tessa was presented with a certificate honoring her commitment to veterans and her donation. She was also presented with a “thank you” bag of treats.