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Local children lead fundraiser for Ronald McDonald Houses

August 18, 2018
Team "Best Day Ever" sells lemonade and sweet treats at McDonald's on Tuesday to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses of Charleston and Huntington.

HURRICANE — It was the “best day ever” for some homemade pumpkin bread, peanut butter fudge and, of course, lemonade.

A group of children from Hurricane hosted a lemonade stand fundraiser titled “Best Day Ever” at the local McDonald’s on Tuesday. The money raised will benefit Ronald McDonald Houses of Charleston and Huntington.

According to Ekka Hutchison, who is one of the mothers involved, the kids were inspired by the “Best Day Ever” Facebook challenge dedicated to a 5-year-old boy, Cohen, currently receiving treatment at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Diagnosed with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) — a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal tract — and unable to consume food normally, Cohen is going through a tough time. Yet through it all he stays positive and feels that any day he’s given is the “best day ever!” Cohen’s biggest wish is for everyone to go out and do something nice.

“He’s a strong little 5-year-old that had to deal with more in his little lifetime than most will ever experience. Doing this for him is the least we could do,” said Hutchison.

The children became passionate about the idea and with the help of their families and community’s support. In just six weeks since they started hosting a lemonade stand once a week in their neighborhood, they were able to receive well over $2,000 in donations, which is double the amount of their initial goal.

“There is nothing more inspiring than children raising money to help sick children in our region,” said Jaye Toler, the director of development for the Ronald McDonald House of Huntington. “We are always so touched by their commitment and hard work.”

She added that the RMH Charities rely heavily on financial support from the community. Donations enable the houses to offer families of sick children a “free place to stay with all the comforts of home” while going through medical treatment.

“You can’t ask for a much sweeter story than that,” Toler said.

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