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Way to Go!: Max Atkinson, Westhampton Beach

Max Atkinson received a proclamation from Suffolk County

Max Atkinson received a proclamation from Suffolk County Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) for raising money for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Credit: Westhampton Beach School District

A Westhampton Beach student recently turned a family lemonade stand into a schoolwide fundraiser for hurricane victims in Houston.

Max Atkinson, a fourth-grader at Westhampton Beach Elementary School, helped bring in $500 through the two fundraisers to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey through Texans defensive end J.J. Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund.

Max and his four siblings, ages 5 to 13, sold lemonade made by his mother, Janet, on the corner of their block over Labor Day weekend, collecting $200 for the cause. Max raised another $300 after getting administrative approval to place a collection jar in school for two weeks, promoting the effort over the school’s loudspeaker and by sending fliers home to families.

“I was a little surprised, because it started off a little bit shaky,” Max, 9, said of the amount raised. Of the effort’s importance, he said: “I’m here having my nice little life and there’s people living in shelters with no food.”

Max said his family has hosted the lemonade stand for about 10 years and has raised money for organizations such as the American Cancer Society and the Navy SEAL Foundation.

For the hurricane relief efforts, Suffolk Legis. Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) presented Max with a proclamation.

He plays trombone in school and basketball in a local youth sports league.

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