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 Macomb Township siblings Michael and Emily Broadbridge, with Macomb Township firefighters in 2019, have had to get creative to support their community.

Macomb Township siblings Michael and Emily Broadbridge, with Macomb Township firefighters in 2019, have had to get creative to support their community.

File photo by Alex Szwarc


Local lemonade stand shifts plans due to COVID-19

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 23, 2020

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — COVID-19 has brought about numerous changes across society, including changes to a lemonade stand that has benefitted Macomb County for the last decade.

Instead of having folks gather at their Macomb Township home for a lemonade sale this year, siblings Emily and Michael Broadbridge brainstormed a new way for Emily and Michael’s Happy Day Lemonade Stand to continue.

Emily, 14, attends Chippewa Valley High School, while 10-year-old Michael will be entering fifth grade at Cherokee Elementary in the fall.

“Since we weren’t able to have the lemonade stand in front our house, and we understand that things were going to be a lot different this year, so we wanted to give back to all those who helped us to make a difference,” Emily said.

The plan, in celebration of 10 years of hosting the event, is to mail out a Kool-Aid lemonade packet to all who want one. There is no cost for a packet and those who want one sent to them may contact the Broadbridges by searching for “Emily and Michael’s Happy Day Lemonade” on Facebook or emailing their address to emily@technologycanwork.com.

“It’s a ‘thank you’ to our community for all they’ve helped us accomplish over the past 10 years,” Emily said.

When asked what it means to contribute in a positive way, despite plenty of hardship seen over the past couple months, Emily said it feels good knowing she and her brother can help make someone’s day.

In April, the Broadbridge family announced they would postpone the lemonade stand this year for everyone’s safety due to COVID-19. The event was originally scheduled for June 6.

Since the community couldn’t gather at the Broadbridge’s home this year, Emily and Michael utilized Facebook Live June 6, sharing their favorite memories and successes throughout their nine prior years of hosting the lemonade stand.

When Emily hosted the first lemonade stand in 2011 — Michael joined the fun in 2016 — she raised just under $62.

In Michael’s first year, the pair raised roughly $6,600. Last year, the siblings raked in over $13,600 for the Macomb Intermediate School District Homeless Education Project, the lemonade stand’s beneficiary the last seven years. In 2019, they distributed 166 cups of lemonade.

The project is in cooperation with local Macomb County school districts, allowing the MISD to assist parents and their families while they are temporarily between homes. Students are provided school supplies, backpacks, clothing and shoes to help them succeed in school.

Altogether, thanks to the siblings efforts, over $47,000 has been donated to charities such as God’s Helping Hands and the Community Christian Church Food Pantry.

Michael said his favorite memory so far was in 2016 when he played the role of “Iceman,” scooping ice into cups.

“My favorite memory has been seeing friends, family, neighbors and everyone who comes to support us,” Emily said. “It feels good knowing that other people also want to help.”  

The Broadbridges are not accepting donations this year, Emily said, because they understand many folks have been unemployed due to the pandemic.

From a relationship standpoint, Emily believes having worked the lemonade stand together for a couple years has brought her much closer to Michael. Michael said the lemonade stand definitely has drawn them together, since he has different hobbies than Emily.

Mother Kim Broadbridge said what her children have done is proving helpful to them in many ways.

“As the stand grew, they learned different people skills and being comfortable around people of different ages,” Kim said. “When you’re 5 and talking to an adult, it can be intimidating.”

Another big plus has been public speaking.

“They go to Kiwanis, township and school board meetings and talk in front of a board of professionals,” Kim said. “It’s great for confidence too.”

Emily said some skills she has gained from working the lemonade stand for so many years are better communication and time management.

Michael said he’s gained plenty of confidence to say what he wants to say.

Next year’s lemonade day is scheduled for June 5.

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