2022 Year in Review: Local people making a difference

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s hard to believe 2022 is nearly over but the memories and impacts people have made, are not. From raising money for charity to people just doing simple acts of kindness.

This summer, four girls in Wabasha ran a very successful lemonade stand raising hundreds for their friend Lance Larson. Lance’s life was cut short by primary liver cancer.

“He was very caring, sweet,” said Eva, one of his friends.

His friend Anna added he always had a smile on his face. The giving for the Larson family didn’t stop with Lance. With Lance’s dad also battling cancer, the girls wanted to help him too.

“These people in Wabasha have all rallied together to help the community and we are so fortunate to live in this town,” said Kellie Quade, Lance’s 2nd-grade teacher.

“The Larson’s should know they are beyond loved…a little lemonade stand turned into something really amazing.”

A glass of lemonade sold for $1 but people gave more and helped them pass their $1,000 goal.

Speaking of lemonade stands, this summer was the 10th year for an annual project for students at Knowledge Beginnings in Rochester. Students sold lemonade and popcorn for a local non-profit, The Landing MN. A support system for those experiencing homelessness.

“It’s great for a bunch of young folks to become involved and do something like this and understand why they’re doing it,” Dan Fifield, The Landing MN co-founder, president, and CEO told ABC 6 News.

The money raised will be used to help with renovations as The Landing moves to a new location. An almost $2.5 million project.

“We sit down and everybody votes on what we’re gonna do,” 7-year-old Lilly Cowdan said.

“We did Paws and Claws last year and this year we did The Landing.”

The biggest fundraiser yet, $1,000 was raised.

Giving back didn’t stop there. In August, the Jorde family, who runs a popcorn business out of Eyota had their trailer stolen ahead of a busy summer schedule. The trailer, holding all of their equipment.

David Jorde, one of the co-owners thought it was a friend pulling a prank.

“It didn’t take long for me to realize that wasn’t the case.”

Within an hour of the trailer missing, Poppa J’s Kettle Corn posted on Facebook asking for help. The post reached more than 40,000 people. Keep in mind, Eyota has about 2,000 people.

“It has just really gotten to be a bigger thing than I ever dreamt I could ever be a part of,” added Jorde.

The trailer was found about 10 miles away from their home. Damaged, the equipment was replaceable and no one was hurt.

Down in the Hawkeye state, a woman’s simple arts and crafts project reached people around the world and those along the RAGBRAI route.

Jean Perkins makes beaded American flag keychains. Giving them out to veterans and people at RAGBRAI. A passion that’s earned awards and thank-you cards in return.

“The veterans that I have met all have had different experiences,” Perkins said.

“For younger people to be aware of what the veterans have gone through for them is very, very emotional for me to see these kids get excited about it.”