Joseph Mastriano pours a glass of lemonade for his sister Maddie...

Joseph Mastriano pours a glass of lemonade for his sister Maddie in front of their home in Stony Brook on Saturday. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

The brother and sister's first lemonade stand was straight out of central casting — table, cups, money box and a handmade sign in front of their Three Village home.

On Monday, nine years later, Joseph and Maddie Mastriano will host their final Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand, which has grown into a carnival-like extravaganza as it has raised over $100,000 for Stony Brook Children's Hospital.

Along the way, the siblings brought together a community, boosting people's commitment to charity and inspiring young people to hop aboard their lemonade-driven train.

Their final stand, so to speak, reflects the incredible growth of their endeavor over the years, into a veritable community event. Planned from 3 to 7 p.m. in front of R.C. Murphy Junior High School in Stony Brook, it will be held under a big tent and feature four 8-foot tables and more than 100 volunteers — ice-runners, lemonade-makers, cash-handlers. A DJ will perform, people can buy raffle tickets, snack on popcorn and play games such as ring toss and cornhole. Suffolk County police will have a distracted driving simulator station, and corporate sponsors will have tables with giveaways, said Joseph Mastriano, 17.

Maddie Mastriano, who was 11 when the siblings began hawking lemonade, said Monday will be bittersweet.

"It's amazing it's lasted so long," said Maddie, who is 21 now, of the event held one day each summer. "I'm holding onto it."

She is heading into her senior year at Loyola University in Maryland. Her experience fundraising, crafting publicity and online crowdsourcing helped in her choice of advertising as a career.

"It showed me how quickly things can spread," she said, recalling her and her brother's early efforts to print up flyers and place them in mailboxes.

The big reason the lemonade stand is shutting down is because Joseph Mastriano is graduating from Ward Melville High School in East Setauket, and he said it's time to close up shop.

When the Mastriano siblings first set up their lemonade stand, he was 8 and just getting out of third grade. They sold the beverage for 50 cents a glass. The start was, not to mince words, an entrepreneurial flop, they said. Kids in the neighborhood came to help them, wanting a cut of the profits, but after several hours they had raised a pittance.

The siblings said they decided to donate the money to Stony Brook Children's Hospital, which was nearby and had treated Maddie overnight when she was a 15-month-old with a double ear infection.

The Mastrianos' efforts blossomed into a movement. More kids and neighbors volunteered. They invited an Islanders player one year who drew a crowd. The Suffolk County police and Setauket Fire Department helped out, as well.

"It got so crazy. There were traffic jams on the block," Joseph Mastriano said. "We had to move to a bigger location."

Once they located at Murphy Junior High about three years ago, the school got involved, along with Girl Scout troops, the library and other schools. Then came the T-shirts and sweatshirts saying "Three Village Kids Lemonade Stand," as well as the addition of the games, popcorn and corporate sponsors, including Island Federal Credit Union.

Joseph and Maddie Mastriano pushed hard to get out the word on Facebook and Instagram and eventually started a GoFundMe page. They held an "Easy Peasy Lemon Sqeezy Challenge," in which they asked people to bite into a lemon and photograph the look on their faces. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone did that, they said.

All along, the lemonade has remained 50 cents a glass.

The money from sales has gone to the hospital's Child Life program, helping to provide toys such as wagons, kitchenette sets and art supplies to help make the children's stays more pleasant, said Joan Alpers, the hospital's director of child life services.

The money has especially helped during the pandemic, when restrictions made it hard for charities to hold toy drives, Alpers said. (Last summer, the Mastrianos held a drive-thru lemonade event.)

Alpers, who has watched Joseph and Maddie Mastriano grow up, called them nothing less than inspiring.

"They were organized. The community took off with it, and they managed to get everyone involved," Alpers said. "Professional fundraising organizations can learn from them."

Come the fall, Joseph plans to start attending Stony Brook University. He doesn't have a major yet but he is focusing on computer game design, he said.

Their mother, Laura Mastriano, who is an event planner, is proud as a mother could be.

"As a mom, my heart has bursted with such pride," she said. "They really made lemonade out of lemons."

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