Lemonade stand helps put baseball in Haiti

The Benoit family in Gresham sells lemonade to help fund baseball equipment shipments to Haiti, July 22, 2013 (KOIN 6 News/Matt Bell)

GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — Nothing hits the spot like a cold glass of lemonade, and Little Leaguers in Gresham will use the money to help their baseball-loving counterparts in Haiti.

Rick Benoit organized Project BASH to donate baseball equipment to Haiti (July 22, 2013, KOIN 6 News)
Rick Benoit organized Project BASH to donate baseball equipment to Haiti (July 22, 2013, KOIN 6 News)

Rick Benoit was put in charge of disbursing some excess equipment from the Little Leagues of Montavilla, Tabor, Barlow and Gresham, and Haiti was the first thing that came to his mind.

He went to Haiti to help after the 2010 earthquake.

“The kids had antiquated equipment,” he said. “They had the type of baseball I had as a kid — wrapped in electrical tape and wooden bats put together with screws.”

All summer, Benoit has been raising money to send the equipment to Haiti in what was called Project BASH — Baseball and Softball to Haiti. The first shipment cost almost $500, which is most of the money they had raised.

So, with lemonade and donated cupcakes, his daughter Lauren stepped up to the plate.

“She came up and said, ‘Dad, I want to do a lemonade stand for Haiti.’ Simple as that,” Rick Benoit told KOIN 6 News. “I said, ‘That’s great. When do you want to start?’ and she said, ‘Let’s do it right now.’ And the rest is history.”

“I wanted to help him out because it costs pretty much $125 to ship one box,” Lauren said. “So far we’ve made about $130, so I just wanted to be helpful to him because we’ve had a lot of people donate and I didn’t want my dad to have to use a lot of his own money.”

She and her friends said they’ll keep selling every weekend for the rest of the summer from their home off SW Binford Lake Parkway in Gresham. And they’re not having trouble attracting business.

“I think it’s just having kids wanting to help out people,” Lauren said. “I think that gets their attention.”

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