What sounds good on a hot summer day? Lemonade, of course.
Zoey and Andria Green–7 and 8-year-old sisters–set up a lemonade stand Monday to help raise money for a Father’s Day Gift, but they were shut down by police for operating without a permit.
The girls told Tyler Morning Telegraph that they wanted to take their father to a Texas water park called Splash Kingdom. They were serving kettle corn for $1, lemonade for $0.50 and both for $1 in hopes of reaching their $105 goal for the tickets.
They were doing well. In one hour, they raised $25. But one hour after opening the stand, the girls were visited by Chief Clyde Carter and other officers. “The police came and said we needed a permit,” Andria said, that is required by the city of Overton. “Yeah we were a little upset,” Andria added.
The girls were also told that they needed to go to city hall to get the $150 permit and an inspection from the health department, according to NewsOK. The officers cited Texas House Bill 970 to back up their claims. The bill, known as the Texas Baker’s Bill, says that food and drinks need to be refrigerated to prevent bacterial growth.
The mother of Zoey and Andria, Sandi Green Evans, was shocked by the ordeal. “It’s ridiculous,” she said, “Their father works in the oil field and is gone a lot, so this is something they wanted to do for him.” She added that the girls are “little entrepreneurs” and they just wanted to do something special for their dad.
Neighbors Charlie Perkins and Nelwin Perry agreed that the incident was outrageous, the newspaper reported. Perry called the situation an “innocent endeavor turned into all kinds of government red tape.” She added that it was “upsetting” because she witnessed “how hard the girls were working out in the heat.”
Perkins said he went to the city offices to buy the girls a peddler’s permit. But, he discovered they needed a health department permit as well. Those are some loyal neighbors!
After some negotiating, Evans convinced Carter to wave the city permit fee. However, the chief stands by the decision, ridiculous or not. He said that although it is just a lemonade stand, “they have to have a permit” if they are going to continue selling lemonade.
The girls are planning to set up their stand again this weekend. This go-around, they will only be accepting donations.
The incident exploded via social media in support of the girls. A local motorcycle group volunteered to direct traffic and a radio broadcast wants to set up across the street from the girls’ stand.
They will be open from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, and all of the donations they receive will go to a local high school scholarship fund, according to NBC News. Oh, and the water park decided to offer the girls and their dad free tickets. They reached their goal after all.