Merit O’Dell Stewart (left) and Owen O’Bryan at their lemonade stand display certificates showing the cause they’re raising money for (photo courtesy of Ketchikan Humane Society).

A young entrepreneur and her friends raised several hundred dollars Saturday (June 18) to help a local animal rescue group.

Bouncing up and down with excitement, 4-year old Merit O’Dell Stewart spoke of her love for cats and wanting to do something to help them.

Merit: “I like only cats.” Interviewer: “You like only cats? So you wanted to help the kitties?”

Merit continued jumping, enthusiastically nodding.

She and her new friends Owen and Grady spent a sunny afternoon selling homemade lemonade and snickerdoodles. The event was a fundraiser for the Ketchikan Humane Society’s SNIP program which offers low-cost spay and neutering services. Melissa O’Bryan was one of the adult supervisors.

“I think Merit decided, because there were so many kittens that have been born lately, and they wanted to figure out a way to help so they decided to do a lemonade stand together.

They offered two types of lemonade – strawberry and regular.  There was some debate as to who gets credit for the lemonade.

Interviewer: Who made the lemonade?  Merit: “Me.” Owen: “Me.” Merit: “…My mom.”

Payment was by donation and business was steady.  In two hours, Merit and her friends raised $426. In a message, a representative of the Ketchikan Humane Society said that would pay for several spays and neuters. And the kids said they’d like to set up another lemonade fundraiser soon.