FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Lennon and Zaros children got an early taste of philanthropy selling lemonade on July 11 to raise money and buy a gift card for the Fairfield Police Department.

Charlotte (10 years old), Patrick (7) and Andrew Lennon (5) and their cousins Grace (11), Ella (9) and Allie Zaros (6) set up a lemonade stand on a steamy Saturday. Their COVID-style operation included wearing gloves and masks and maintaining a six-foot distance from their customers. Naturally, a bottle of sanitizer sat on their table.

According to Stephanie Lennon, “My sister in-law, Debbie Zaros, and I asked them who they would like to donate the money to (we always talk about doing good for people).”  She continued, “All the kids decided to donate to the Fairfield Police Department. We have law enforcement [members] in our family and we have some police officers who live on our street. They are always so friendly and stop and talk to the kids. The kids really look up to them.” 

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The children made and displayed a sign saying, “Would you like to buy lemonade to help us buy snacks for our police officers to thank them for keeping us safe?” 

A few Fairfield police officers were in the area and stopped to buy lemonade. The Lennon and Zaros kids enjoyed asking the police officers many questions about their jobs. The officers answered all of them and one played with their dog, Millie. Stephanie reported that all of the customers, including the policemen, gave the kids generous donations for the cause.

The lemonade stand earnings totaled $60, and the next day the kids went to Manhattan Bagels in Fairfield to purchase a gift card. Stephanie shared, “When they went into Manhattan Bagels they told the owner why they were buying the gift card. The owner was so proud of them that he gave them all free brownies.”

Their next stop was the police station. Police Chief Anthony Manna accepted the gift and was grateful and proud of the kids. He gathered some police officers to take a photo to commemorate the occasion. The children had fun speaking to the officers and were very excited to see an officer who had visited the lemonade stand.

Stephanie mentioned that she and her sister in-law are teachers. “We try teach our kids to always give back to their community.” She added, “We are so proud of them. They really thought of the idea all by themselves and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Stephanie greatly appreciated how nice the police officers were to the children. “We want to also thank the Fairfield Police Department for being so amazing and really making the kids feel special!”  

Manna commented, “It was a great surprise to me and the department.” He continued, “It was amazing and very heartwarming. During these difficult times for law enforcement, we are so very fortunate that we still enjoy incredible support from our community, which is a testament to the work our officers do every day.”

Manna noted that it was also heartening that young community members appreciate police officers, which he attributes to “the values of their parents.”  

He was happy to relay that the community has been extremely supportive in multiple ways this year. The police department has received many letters and cards of appreciation, and a lot of families and businesses have dropped off food.

Manna wants to thank everyone who has either given the Fairfield Police Department “tangible items or who just included us in their prayers or thoughts over the last few very difficult months.”