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(Posted 8 p.m., July 11)
Queenswood Heights youngster uses lemonade stand to give back

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Six-year-od Zach De Toni serves up some lemonade to a couple of young customers to help raise money for CHEO. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Last year, five-year-old Zach De Toni wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise some money to buy more toys. Skip ahead a year and he finally was able to have a lemonade stand, but for a vasty different reason.

The Queenswood Heights youngster underwent an emergency operation at CHEO in April for a non-life threatening condition.

The operation went off without a hitch thanks to the amazing staff at the children's hospital, and Zach, who is now six, wanted to show his appreciation by raising money with his lemonade stand.

With a little help from his parents Allison and Glen, his baby sister Abby, and a Star Wars stormtrooper, Zach was able to raise nearly $800, one glass of lemonade at a time.

Among the many people who dropped by were Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, Orleans Ward Coun. Bob Monette's family (the councillor is out of town on official business), Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais and CHEO president and CEO Alex Munter.

Needless to say, Zach's parents were pretty proud of their son's selflessness.

"We're very lucky to have such a great kid and he wanted to give back because CHEO took such great care of him when he had his operation and he asked if he could do a lemonade stand to give back and of course we said yes," says Allison.

Glen De Toni did his part for the lemonade stand by making a batch of miniature cup cakes. It was Glen who took Zach to CHEO the day he had the operation.

"We went in the afternoon and he underwent surgery that same night," says De Toni, who experienced the same emotions any parent feel under similar circumstances.

"You start thinking about what can go wrong, will he be abe to have kids when he gets older, but even he acknowledged it could have been worse. He was talking to another kid who was in there for a long time and he was able process that he coud be a lot worse off."

Thankfully, the operation went off without a hitch and Zach has made a full recovery without any lasting effects, for which his parents are especially thankful.

"We couldn't be more grateful, we really couldn't," says Allison.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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