SPRINGVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade — and when one Springville girl’s lemonade stand made hundreds of dollars, she decided to make a difference for first responders.
It takes a lot of 25 cent cups of lemonade to make nearly a $1,000, but nine-year-old Pari Sarkar wasn’t doing it for herself. She gave all the money to police and firefighters.
Two police cruisers, a fire engine, and an ambulance screamed down the street. Not to an emergency, but to Pari’s Fourth of July lemonade stand.
“We wanted to come say hi to you today,” one firefighter told Pari.
“Thank you so much, would you like some lemonade or anything?” she replied.
“They’re always our heroes, the police and the fire,” Pari told Behind The Badge. “They’re always our heroes.”
“She recognizes the role that first responders play in our community,” her mother Pritha Lal added. “The fact that they help us. They put their lives on the line…It’s a huge part of our lives what they do.”
In 2019, Pari donated $113 dollars to the Springville Police Department through sales of her lemonade, handmade bracelets, and necklaces. Then last year because of COVID, she put aside the pitchers and made hand-painted rocks to sell.
“I’m doing this for the police officers,” she says in a YouTube video while stamping the rocks. “Lots of different meaningful words on them…like ‘faith,’ ‘love,’ and ‘kindness’ like the words that during this time can help us.”
The rock sales resulted in a $771 gift to the Springville PD. This summer, the soon-to-be 4th grader at Art City Elementary School decided to go back to lemonade, this time raising $990 for the Springville Fire Department.
“We have a bunch of fires on the mountains and you know it’s really close,” Pari said. “And they work so hard, like day and night 24/7.”
Springville Fire Department Chief Henry Clinton accepted the donation and the City of Springville agreed to match it.
“This is huge. This is what the community needs to see,” Chief Clinton said. “When you see that little girl model the example of generosity, of caring…She set an example for all of us to be selfless…She’s just an amazing little girl that she would even do this.”
“I also gave them one of the rocks from last year. It said ‘sacrifice’ on it,” Pari said. “And the fire chief actually said ‘You made a big sacrifice doing this.'”
After handing over the money, Pari got a special ride home in a fire truck. It was a much better ride than the one she took two years ago in the back of an ambulance.
“She had this terrible cramping in her stomach,” her mother explained. “She was in horrible pain and…how they did that fentanyl measurement to her IV with a baby needle all the way to Utah Valley and by the time we reached, the pain was gone.”
Pari is not only fully recovered, she’s dancing, swimming, playing the piano, drawing, and planning next summer’s fundraising.
“I think I’ll again give to the fire department because it’ll only be fair,” she said. “We gave it to the police department two times so let’s do that again with the fire department.”
Pari tells Behind The Badge that when she grows up, she wants to be a scientist working in the aerospace industry as a chemical engineer and a welder. Not a typical combination, but after meeting her, we’re convinced she’ll be able to do whatever she chooses.