An Islip Terrace student has raised more than $10,000 in recent years through sales of homemade lemonade and baked goods to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Oliver Rivadeneyra, a fifth-grader at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary School in the East Islip School District, raised the funds over the past five years using a wooden stand he built with his father, Juan, in 2015. This past summer, he raised $3,725 in a day, which was his largest amount yet.
Oliver said he was inspired to fundraise for St. Jude after seeing a commercial about the pediatric treatment and research facility while watching television with his grandmother at the age of 5.
"I started feeling more and more bad for the kids," said Oliver, 10, who was honored for his charitable efforts at the district's Board of Education meeting in October. Of his fundraising achievements, he said: "I didn't think just one kid could make such a big difference."
To help promote the lemonade stand, Oliver and his family hung signs throughout their neighborhood and encouraged people to stop by through Facebook. The stand was stationed in the family's driveway and was open for about four hours, Oliver said.
Oliver also plays bass in his school's orchestra and is a member of the Drama Club. In addition, he plays baseball, basketball and football outside of school.