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Local 10-Year-Old Donates Lemonade Stand Proceeds To Fire Department


Newark – Last Saturday, a 10-year-old Newark girl set up a lemonade stand to raise money for a very important cause.

Willow Hodge, a local fifth grader, had been planning to raise money for “something local” all summer, according to her mother Heidi. She wanted to support her community.

A few weeks before the fundraiser, Willow learned that Aetna would be turning to the community to help replace one of its aging apparatus and she decided that would be her cause.

Originally set for the week before, the event had to be moved due to weather. With a more favorable forecast on Saturday, Willow set up her stand, which included lemonade and bottled water, at her home in Cherry Hill and waited.

She was unsure if she could raise the $100, to meet her goal, when she first got started but she was very excited to try, said her mother.

When she first started cars were passing by without stopping but that all changed after a few posts on social media.

As word made it around the town, members of the community began stopping by one after another.  The donation can was filling up but she didn’t have time to count the money, she just kept going.

In addition to many of Aetna’s members stopping by, the on-duty crew at Station 9 showed up with their truck to thank Willow in person.

Today, Wednesday, August 18, Aetna’s President Dan Seador and members had the opportunity to meet with Willow.  Assistant Chief Jeff Sands presented her with an Aetna T-shirt, hat, and a Chief’s challenge coin.

Willow’s actions epitomize Aetna’s motto of “Service for Others” and we are very grateful for her efforts, said Sands.

“Willow should be commended for her willingness to get involved in the community and support her local fire and EMS services.”

Her mother said Willow was very excited that she more than doubled her original goal with a grand total of $211.00 raised.

Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company Facebook Post

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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