PENNSBORO, W.Va. – Lemonade, get your lemonade, but for a good cause, the local volunteer fire department.

Local 5-year-old Sydneigh White held a fundraising event on Saturday afternoon to raise money for the Pennsboro Volunteer Fire Department to buy a pickup truck. She parked her stand outside of Dollar General, with a fire engine in the back, and sold lemonade for as much as people were willing to give. Her father, Tyler, captain of the fire department, said he could not be any prouder.

Sydneigh handing a customer her lemonade

“It’s amazing,” Tyler White said. “You know there’s — really no words for it. She came to us after a fair, they had a First Responder Appreciation Day at our Ritchie County Fair this past month and she asked about doing a lemonade stand. Her aunt Jennifer from Georgia had bought her one for Christmas a couple of years ago and she always wanted to do one but never really talked much about it other than, you know, doing a play when in the house. And two months ago, our city council donated $15,000 towards the purchase of a pickup truck that could be used for medical calls for our community.”

The truck, White said, will be vital because right now, paramedics use larger trucks for medical calls. While the larger trucks get the job done, they are not the best choice, economically speaking.

White said they are trying to “cut down on fuel costs” for the department and that’s exactly what the new pickup truck will help with.

Another reason, White said he was proud of his daughter was because she was helping advertise for the fire department’s ice cream social on Oct. 9.

Engine 12 parked in front of the store during the fundraiser

“Not being able to have bingo with COVID, being indoors — we’re just trying to come up with different fundraising ideas for the department, trying to make up for the losses that we’ve sustained,” White said. 

The ice cream social will feature ice cream, of course, a deejay, inflatables, hot dogs, hamburgers and lots more, White said. It will run from 1-7 p.m.

“We’re going to have a parade,” White said. “We’re going to start at the racetrack. It’s actually coinciding with Pennsboro High School alumni weekend. We’re going to start at the racetrack, come up through town to the Mile Stadium, and have a parade, a fireman’s parade. We’re inviting all the local fire departments, we’ll have awards at the Fire department afterward. We’re just looking, like I said, to fundraise and have a good time and try to bring community support back.”

Sydneigh’s lemonade stand helped greatly to bring the community support back to the fire department, her father said.

He said they had to start the event a little later than intended because the department had to go out on a call. Regardless, when things finally started going the community really showed up and it was “nonstop ever since”.

Customers buying lemonade from Sydneigh

“We really appreciate the community support and especially as a father the support that the community has shown my daughter,” White said. “Everybody has been absolutely amazing today.”

White said while he’s grateful for the community, there is one person in particular who made everything possible. That person was Ms. Kay, the manager of Dollar General.

“Miss Kay is awesome,” he said.

She’s always willing to help the fire department, he added, so she jumped up to help as soon as she heard about Sydneigh’s idea.

“We came to her at the beginning of the summer and asked for couple cases of water and she then supplied, personally, every one of our fire trucks with at least two to three cases of water,” White said. “And every time we run low, we stop down and she buys us more. And when Sydneigh went to her about the idea with the lemonade stand, she stepped right up and has been absolutely awesome, so she has been a huge supporter of our community and our department and we are forever grateful for her.”