In 2019, Wyatt Dennis sat on the porch of a house his parents were thinking about purchasing when an idea was born. It happened to be in the middle of the Sturgis Rally, and Wyatt told his parents that if they purchased the house, he'd want to do a lemonade stand the following Rally. When 2020 rolled around, the house was theirs, Wyatt was ready, and the lemonade stand idea was put into action.
Wyatt wanted to purchase a Lego set. His parents told him he would be serving free lemonade to anyone who wanted some and in return for his hard work, they would take him to buy the Lego set with the money he earned at the end of Rally.
On day one, donations started rolling in. It was apparent that the Lego set would be easily obtainable, so a new plan was set up for the money coming in. Fifty percent would go into savings for college, 30 percent would go toward a charity of Wyatt's choice, and 20 percent would go toward the Lego set.
Instead of only being able to teach Wyatt how hard work can get you what you want, the lemonade stand had become a lesson about saving, giving, and spending.
Wyatt chose St. Jude Children's Hospital for his charity because he wanted to help kids. In 2020, the lemonade stand brought in approximately $700 in donations, and Wyatt was able to donate $200 to St. Jude.
When the 2021 Rally rolled around, Wyatt headed back down to Sturgis Road to set up his stand again. No one expected this year to be different than 2020, but everything changed in the first weekend the lemonade stand was set up.
A wonderful lady named Tracy from Louisiana stopped a couple times and asked if she could post about the stand on Facebook. Her post was then picked up by Derek Swain, a Combat Vet Rider, who added to and reposted Tracy's original post. It went viral in a couple days' time.
Not only were people from all over visiting the stand while in town for Sturgis, they were also donating virtual glasses of lemonade. Wyatt's story was picked up by local news stations, newspapers, Fox and Friends, and a Fox station out of Minnesota. This allowed word of the stand to reach from coast to coast.
After everything was said and done in 2021, Wyatt chose to donate 50 percent of what came in and was able to give just over $32,000 to St. Jude.
Wyatt plans to continue to do his lemonade stand every year, as long as people continue to come. In 2022, he hopes everyone who comes to town for Rally will come stop by and say hello and that he can raise $50,000 for St. Jude!
**Update as of 1-4-2022 **
I wanted to let you know (if you haven't seen it on his FB page) that we are going to have a raffle for a $1000 tattoo session. There is an artist from Spearfish who has committed to this and we will be selling tickets starting in February for $20.00 each. We will draw for the winner on July 4th so they have time to schedule the session when they are out for the Rally. All proceeds will go directly to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
In the meantime, you can learn more about Wyatt's Lemonade Stand on his Facebook page (Wyatt's Lemonade), Instagram (@wyattslemonade), and website (www.wyattslemonade.com).