BORDENTOWN – The Bordentown Historical Society began its “Raise The Roof” campaign last month to raise money to replace the roof on top of the Clara Barton Schoolhouse.
Since the Bordentown Historical Society began its fundraiser, the organization has received numerous donations from local donors and has gotten great support from the Bordentown community.
To the delight of the organization, the support from the community has included a 9-year-old girl creating a lemonade stand to raise money for the cause.
Anna “A.J.” Sury set up a lemonade stand on Aug. 17 with three of her friends to raise money for the Bordentown Historical Society.
Fixing the roof of the schoolhouse meant a lot to A.J., who learned about Clara Barton this past school year when she was a third grader at MacFarland Intermediate School.
“I learned how important the schoolhouse was to the town and wanted to help fix it to give future generations the opportunity to see it,” she said.
It became her mission to fix the schoolhouse when she drove by it one day and saw the blue tarp on top of the roof. Trying to think of a way to pitch in and help, she got the idea of doing a lemonade stand from her friend Samantha Archer.
The two girls have been friends since preschool and attended Clara Barton Elementary School together from kindergarten to second grade.
Along with their friends Mackenzie Mayers and Mackenzie Weckenbrock, the four “lemonade brigade girls,” as Goldman calls them, set up shop in front of Mimosa Goods, whose owner Sara McEwan happily allowed them to do so.
For about two hours, the girls worked hard to sell a glass of lemonade for $1 to as many people as possible walking the streets of downtown Bordentown.
Because it was Restaurant Weekend, the girls were able to get a lot of foot traffic by their spot to sell lemonade, A.J. said.
Before closing shop, The HOB Tavern bought the rest of the lemonade to use that night to make drinks at the restaurant and donated some of the proceeds to the cause.
At the end of the day, the lemonade stand made just over $550.
The funds didn’t stop rolling in as A.J. was able to raise more money through donations from family and friends through a Facebook link her mother, Barkley Cordell, set up through Bordentown Historical Society’s online donations page.
Excitingly counting all the money she was able to raise, A.J. and her family wrote a check of $925 to the historical society.
When Goldman opened the check and saw how much money A.J. raised, she was astonished by her hard work and said it was something more of what a 29-year-old would do rather than a 9-year-old.
“Her desire to support us and raise money for the schoolhouse was very inspiring,” Goldman said of A.J. “Very happy and impressed with what her and her friends were able to accomplish. Such an uplifting [thing] to do for the community during this terrible time.”
A.J. has added to her fundraiser over the past few weeks and had raised around $1,000 as of press time.
The historical society honored A.J. and her friends by giving them a special tour of the schoolhouse this past weekend as Goldman herself dressed up as Clara Barton.
A.J. said the tour was amazing and she thought it was “cool” that she got to sit in the same seat that other children her age did as well over 100 years ago.
Being that it was her ninth birthday on Aug. 22, A.J. said what she wanted most for her birthday was to raise enough money to fix the schoolhouse roof.
“Raising enough money to help fix up the schoolhouse was the real gift,” she said.
A.J. is currently thinking of ideas to raise money to help the historical society fix the fence around the schoolhouse.
Proud of what she and her friends were able to accomplish, A.J. and Samantha went to the park to celebrate their hard work.
Her determination has paid off and the now fourth grader at MacFarland Intermediate School was thrilled that she was able to give back to a special cause to support her community.
“I worked really hard to make sure a historical place was preserved and to keep it a part of the community,” A.J. said.
Along with replacing the roof, proceeds from the “Raise The Roof” campaign will go toward other needs in addition to fixing up the schoolhouse, including improving the electricity in the building to make it more accessible for video presentations the Bordentown Historical Society wants to show.
The Bordentown Historical Society has received two separate donations of $5,000 and has raised around $3,000 through online donations, according to Goldman.
Some small businesses in the Bordentown community are also partnering with the historical society and will donate proceeds from certain sales they make towards the cause, Goldman added.