Local boy gets big surprise at lemonade stand

T-R PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY —  Arthur “Jr.” Martinez, back right and holding money, started a lemonade stand outside of his East Main Street home earlier this summer with the hopes of raising enough money to fix his Playstation. Along with his sister Marcelina, right center, and brother Santiago, front right, he got a huge surprise on Wednesday night when a group of bikers showed up thirsty. In all, he made over $950 in one night.

Arthur “Jr.” Martinez, a nine-year-old from Marshalltown who will be entering fourth grade this fall, started a lemonade stand over the summer as a way to raise money toward his ultimate goal of getting his Playstation repaired. A group of big-hearted bikers who stopped by on Wednesday night made sure he had more than enough to buy himself a new one.

Brandon White, Chad Cook and Josh Lanfier organized a convoy of at least 50 motorcycles that took off from the Git n’ Go on the south edge of town and showed up to buy as much lemonade, tea and snacks as Jr. could sell. The bikers, who represented various clubs and affiliations, came from as far away as the Ames, Newton and Des Moines areas, and when they heard Jr. had experienced bullying, they wanted to help in whatever way they could.

“Brandon posted it on Facebook, and a couple of his friends were interacting back and forth. I shared it a couple of times, and the next thing we knew it just blew up and everybody was coming,” Cook said. “We just wanted to show up and show this kid that not everybody’s an a**hole.”

White offered a similar take on the situation.

“We just want him to know that, you know, we’re all here for him,” he said.

T-R PHOTO BY ROBERT MAHARRY — The bikers who showed up to support Jr. Martinez’s lemonade stand posed for a photo after they’d all been through the line. Brandon White spread the word via social media and recruited a convoy of over 50 motorcycles to surprise him on Wednesday.

By the time all was said and done, Jr. had made over $950 for the night as most of the customers left generous tips on top of the $2 price for a glass of lemonade. His mother said he had caught something of the entrepreneurial bug with the stand and got some help from his sister Marcelina Aguirre Martinez and brother Santiago Aguirre.

“It’s a child’s dream. He worked hard for it and built it from just lemonades to having more than that now,” Santiago said.

As classic soul tracks blared from a stereo on the front porch, Jr. was overwhelmed by all of the hogs parked around his East Main Street home — luckily, the Ryerson parking lot across the street provided a place where they could mostly avoid blocking traffic — but more than anything else, he was just happy to receive the support.

“I mean, the first day was good, but this is a better day,” he said of his stand. “My favorite part of the whole thing so far is that sometimes, I get to see my friends.”

Jr. said his favorite Playstation games are Fortnite and Minecraft, and he looks forward to playing them on his new system now that he’s secured the necessary funds. He gave a special thanks to everyone who showed up on Wednesday and specifically White, who had bought from the stand previously and spread the word to his friends.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or rmaharry@timesrepubiican.com.


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