BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Leah’s Lemonade Stand is the winner of the fourth ValaircoCares donation of $500. Valairco Heating and Cooling founder Richard Valenti and owner Kevin McHugh presented the check Monday evening during the Berkeley Heights Volunteer Rescue Squad's monthly meeting at their headquarters.
As part of Valairco Heating and Cooling's 50th anniversary celebration, they have established the ValaircoCares program donating $500 each quarter to a charity or nonprofit. "This is our way of paying back to the communities that have been so good to us over the past 50 years," said Valenti. "The most recent donation was made to an extraordinary 9-year-old young lady, Leah Dasti."
Leah thanked Valairco Heating and Cooling for choosing Leah's Lemonade Stand to receive this donation. "I am so honored that Leah's lemonade stand was chosen to receive this donation. I want to thank everyone that took the time to nominate Leah's Lemonade Stand," said Leah. "I've been raising money for the Rescue Squad since 2016 to honor my poppop's memory and to say thank you to the Rescue Squad for all that they do. I am happy to donate this money back to the Rescue Squad from Leah's Lemonade Stand. This is a special honor for me and my lemonade stand. I am so glad I can help the Rescue Squad with this donation."
Through Leah’s Lemonade Stand, she has raised money for the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad, donating over $1,200 in 2018.
This recipient touched the heartstrings of Valenti. When he and his wife, Kay, moved to Berkeley Heights in 1967, he said, "your [BHVRS] predecessors made 8 visits to my house -- my father-in-law had emphysema. As a result, Kay joined the Rescue Squad and served 19 years and 9 years as President."
When a large number of votes for Leah's Lemonade Stand came in, "I learned that this great young lady is collecting money with her lemonade stand and donating to the Rescue Squad that I had a history with my wife -- phenomenal," said Valenti.
He said that this donation was going to wrap up the ValaircoCares 50th year celebration. However, since ValaircoCare's inception, they received nominations for over 70 organizations. They were impressed by the number of volunteers in all of the organizations. -- "And to top it off with what Leah is doing has encouraged us to continue the program," said Valenti. "We are going to continue the program every three months."
In addition, Valenti and McHugh recognized Leah for her hard work in raising money for the Rescue Squad. "We appreciate what you are doing," said Valenti. "We think there should be something for Leah." McHugh presented a second check to Leah for $500 to go towards her college fund. "You deserve this, you are the best," said McHugh.
BHVRS President Joe Savino thanked Valenti and McHugh for their visit, "You have made a lot of people happy," said Savino.
To learn more about Valairco Heating and Cooling and the ValaircoCares program, visit their website www.valairco.com. Click here to cast your vote for your favorite charity to be the recipient of the next ValaircoCares donation.