Local boys sell lemonade to benefit Hope Fund


By Kasie McCreary - [email protected]



Max Gulker, front, poses with Collin Cook and Jonah Cook at the childrens’ lemonade stand. Money raised from their lemonade stand was donated to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.

Max Gulker, front, poses with Collin Cook and Jonah Cook at the childrens’ lemonade stand. Money raised from their lemonade stand was donated to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.


Karla Gulker | Courtesy

PORTSMOUTH — For many local children, summer break is a carefree time to lazily enjoy friends, relaxation, and a lack of homework amid a packed calendar of trips or events.

Eight-year-old Max Gulker, however, knows that unfortunately isn’t the case for all local children.

And with some help from his friends and family, he recently worked hard to help provide less-fortunate children with some relief.

“My cousin made a lemonade stand a long time ago, and I’ve always wanted to do one,” Max said.

With the business model in place, Max—alongside his friends Jonah and Collin Cook—knew just where to donate the profits from their lemonade stand.

“My parents knew this person named Steven Hunter. They’re raising money for kids to eat over the summer,” Max explained.

The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund was established in 2006 in Steven’s memory following his sudden, tragic death.

His parents, Mark and Virgie Hunter, have worked tirelessly since then to provide meals to the children battling food insecurity in our area and surrounding counties.

For children who depend on school meals to round out nutritional gaps, summer break can be filled with uncertainty.

It’s the mission of the Hope Fund to provide meals through various services and programs designed to combat hunger for those children.

According to the Hope Fund’s website, they have donated over one million meals to hungry children within 10 years of operation.

Max has made it his goal to lend the Hope Fund a helping hand, too.

And this isn’t the first time that Max’s philanthropy has helped the Hunters’ mission.

“A few years ago, Max decided he wanted to draw some pictures to raise money for a charity,” Max’s mother Karla Gulker said. “I recorded him, and we put it out there to our Facebook friends that he wanted to do that. For that, we contacted Mark and Virgie (Hunter), and he drew a bunch of pictures and donated several hundred dollars to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.”

Since Max’s family lives in a cul-de-sac, he knew that their lemonade stand may not get as much traffic as with other areas of the community.

So Max and his mother reached out to friends for help with a location.

“(A cul-de-sac) is not exactly the best place for a lemonade stand,” explained Karla. “We contacted one of our friends from church—they live on Grandview, which gets a lot more traffic. They were having a yard sale, and we set up in their driveway,” she said.

When the pitchers were empty at the end of the day, Max estimated conservatively that “maybe 60 or 70” people came to buy lemonade from him, Jonah and Collin.

Karla thinks that number is actually closer to 100 patrons which ultimately stopped in to purchase lemonade.

Max excitedly noted that “some people stopped to give us money, and they didn’t even want any lemonade!”

The boys raised a total of $520 for the Hope Fund between sales and donations.

Watching her son and his friends serve their community makes Karla enormously proud of their charitable mindset.

“It means a lot that kids recognize that it’s important to make donations and to be good stewards of the money that we are given, and to be thankful for what we have,” Karla said. “Max, Collin and Jonah are always aware that they don’t want for things, and that they’re thankful for what they have. It’s nice to see that they have the desire to give back to the kids in the community.”

And for other kids in the community which want to help others, Max wants them to know that they should always try to help out their neighbors who need a helping hand.

“Little things can be big,” Max said.

For more information about the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, visit the nonprofit’s website at www.stevenshopefund.org.

Max Gulker, front, poses with Collin Cook and Jonah Cook at the childrens’ lemonade stand. Money raised from their lemonade stand was donated to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/07/web1_lemonade1.jpgMax Gulker, front, poses with Collin Cook and Jonah Cook at the childrens’ lemonade stand. Money raised from their lemonade stand was donated to the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund. Karla Gulker | Courtesy

By Kasie McCreary

[email protected]

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Kasie McCreary at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1931 or by email at [email protected]

© 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved