Delanie Dennis was surprised and excited to be recognized at the national level for her work in the local community.

By Madeline Gardner

It all began with a book about a girl who ran a lemonade stand for pediatric cancer patients, a commercial on animal cruelty and a dream. On October 12, Delanie Dennis, the 10-year-old owner of Delanie’s Lemonade Stand, was recognized as the ‘Kid of the Year’ by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) at the Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City. At 12 Noon, she gave a speech discussing her continued involvement in supporting rescues in her community through her business and special events.

“We had no idea — it was a complete surprise. We received a phone call from the ASPCA saying they’d been following Delanie for a long time, and that it was amazing to see what she’s accomplished,” said Delanie’s mother, Julie Dennis.

Running her business from her parents’ restaurant, Cafe Delanie, Delanie has raised over $50,000 since she first opened her lemonade stand in April 2019. Every month since, Delanie sits down with her mother and researches a handful of local rescues that are nonprofit organizations and chooses which she would like to donate 100 percent of her proceeds to for that month.

Delanie and her family also assisted with the third annual RVR Horse Rescue ‘Barn-o-Ween’ event on October 30. Located at 1710 W. SR 60 in Plant City, RVR Horse Rescue is a nonprofit geared towards rehabilitating severe cases and helping rescue horses find a loving home after they’ve recovered. Delanie planned to increase support for this nonprofit by setting up her lemonade stand as visitors were encouraged to trick-or-treat and visit the rescues.

Additionally, her second annual ‘Squeeze the Day’ Lemonade Stand Adoption Fair will be held on Sunday, November 13 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Dallas Bull, located at 3322 U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa. This event showcasing local rescue groups and shelters is free to the public and will feature food trucks as well as an appearance by the Hillsborough County Police Department alongside their K9 units for demonstrations.

For more information about Delanie’s Lemonade Stand Adoption Fair, please call 813-957-8301 or email Working to increase the number of animals adopted this year, Delanie hopes to spread the message that anyone can make a difference and achieve any goal.

“My two goals are to hopefully get some people to follow in my footsteps and start their own lemonade stand, and my other goal is to get $100,000 donated to animals. Any kid at any age can change the world,” said Delanie.

To learn more about Delanie’s Lemonade Stand, please visit the Cafe Delanie Facebook page or call 813-740-2233. Cafe Delanie and Delanie’s Lemonade Stand are located at 3016 U.S. Hwy. 301 in Tampa.

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