Seven-year-old Ashton Plumb decided he wanted to make lemonade to help fundraise for the Bonsdorf family after he heard that nine-year-old neighbour, Carter, had suddenly died. (File contributed/Lindsay Plumb)

Vancouver Island kids mourn loss of friend with lemonade stand

The sudden death of nine-year-old Carter Bonsdorf has inspired kids to fundraise for his family

For four days last week, kids from around the neighbourhood gathered at a Saanich elementary school running an iced tea and lemonade stand.

The stand is far from a normal summer gig – it’s a fundraiser in commemoration of their schoolmate, Carter Bonsdorf, 9, who suddenly died on Aug. 24.

According to a GoFundMe page for the Bonsdorf family, Carter “suffered a major medical event, which resulted in a cardiac arrest at home and he was rushed to hospital.” Five days later he passed away, surrounded by family.

Carter had just celebrated his ninth birthday on Aug. 9.

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Neighbour Lindsay Plumb and her sons, Asthon, 7, and Reid, 4, saw the ambulance take Carter away. When she heard the tragic news she had the difficult job of explaining to Ashton what had happened.

“After he cried for a few minutes I asked him if there was something he wanted to do for the family,” Plumb said. “He got up and went to the fridge to look for lemons, saying that he wanted to make lemonade.”

Since they were out of lemons, Ashton instead opted for iced tea and began making signs.

“I was surprised since he didn’t know the family and he barely knew Carter,” she said. Soon, however, word spread that an iced tea stand was happening.

Carter’s close friend, Kesler Fawcett, 9, was there within the hour making signs and helping to prepare for the stand.

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As the stand built up on local sidewalks, migrating over to Northridge Elementary School, more and more kids took over in shifts. Neighbours came over to contribute cookies for sale, and lemons were purchased to add lemonade to the menu.

Since Monday, kids and parents have rotated through 14-hour days, tirelessly working on their “Ice Tea For Carter” campaign.

“What’s been really good is that it started as a way to raise money for the family, but the money is almost secondary,” Plumb said. “The stand has been therapeutic in bringing the kids together so they can be a community and talk about what happened.”

By Thursday, the kids had raised more than $1,400, with aims of raising $2,000 for the family. The GoFundMe page had raised more than $19,700 at the time of publication, with an ultimate goal of $25,000 to “give the family some financial peace of mind during this time of recovery and healing.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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Kids from around the neighbourhood have been working at a lemonade stand at Northridge elementary school for four days in an effort to fundraise for the Bornsdorf family after the sudden passing of nine-year-old Carter. (File contributed/Lindsay Plumb)

Reid Plumb, 4, neighbour Kesler Fawcett, 9, and Ashton Plumb, 7, began selling iced tea shortly after they heard of the sudden death of their neighbour Carter, 9. (File contributed/Lindsay Plumb)

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