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Islip Town honors boy who sold lemonade in summer, raised more than $10G for St. Jude

Oliver Rivadeneyra, 10, raised more than $10,000 for

Oliver Rivadeneyra, 10, raised more than $10,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital by selling lemonade, limeade and baked goods for five consecutive summers. Credit: Newsday / Antonio Planas

Oliver Rivadeneyra, of Islip Terrace, has spent every summer since 2015 raising money for sick children by selling lemonade, limeade and baked goods from a homemade stand he built with his father, Islip Town officials said.

At Tuesday’s Islip Town Board meeting, Oliver, 10, was honored for raising more than $10,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. He was presented with a certificate because he “has made an impact in many children’s lives before turning ten years old, and continues to make a difference in lives with every cup of lemonade sold,” the certificate read. 

When he was 5, Oliver got inspired to sell lemonade and told his parents he would use proceeds for his college fund, officials said. They told him not to worry about college. Oliver then decided he wanted to donate to the money to St. Jude after learning about it while watching television with his grandmother, officials said.

“He was touched by some of the stories of the sick children and decided that he wanted to help,” said Councilwoman Mary Kate Mullen before presenting Oliver with the certificate. Oliver received a standing ovation at the meeting.

“Thank you so much,” he said with a big smile.

In Oliver’s first summer selling lemonade, he made $861.25, officials said. This summer, he has made the most money ever for the children’s hospital, raking in more than $3,725, which put him over the $10,000 mark, officials said.

“Oliver is a selfless and unique 10-year-old, who in his meaningful way saw an opportunity to have a real impact on the mission of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which is to advance cures and means of prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases. Oliver is a shining example of the goodness here in the Town of Islip,” Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said in a statement.

After Tuesday’s meeting, Oliver’s mom, Nancy Merino, said of her son: “We are all extremely proud of him. Not only that he chose to do this, but the hard work that he has put into it. He couldn’t make us more proud.”

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