Harrison County

Officer ‘had tear roll down his face’ after Biloxi girls’ gift

‘I love seeing the reactions on their faces’

Paige Wilson explains why she and her sister, Kaley, decided to raise money for first responders with their lemonade stand.
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Paige Wilson explains why she and her sister, Kaley, decided to raise money for first responders with their lemonade stand.

Paige and Kaley Wilson, 11 and 8, are using proceeds from their lemonade stand to give “a hug and a mug” to first responders.

They’ve raised $1,202 since July and bought Arctic insulated mugs to give to police, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

The girls, along with their dad, John Wilson, took 60 mugs to the Mississippi Highway Patrol Office on Wednesday to give to state troopers. The girls call their fundraiser Delicious Divas’ Lemonade.

“I love seeing their reactions because it just makes me smile,” Paige said.

State Trooper Brodrick Nettles said he plans to use his mug for tea.

“I think it’s great,” he said.

State Trooper Cal Robertson agreed. He said he plans to use his for water or coffee.

Paige and Kaley both attend North Woolmarket Elementary School.

The girls came up with the idea for a lemonade stand and said their father told them they should use the money they made to do something good.

“With all that’s going on this world, and the disrespect shown to police, I thought they could do something to make a difference for police and other first responders,” Wilson said.

The girls first set up shop in the driveway of their Woolmarket home and made $312, selling fresh-squeezed lemonade and their mother’s homemade cookies. Their second time, they raised $890, but realized they couldn’t keep up with fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Wilson said he bought 150 insulated mugs. He and the girls began driving around, and every time they saw a police car parked in front of a home, they would stop and give the officer a mug.

“One officer had a tear roll down his face,” Wilson said.

Next, they gave out mugs at their neighborhood fire station.

They’d given out 79 mugs before gave some to state troopers on Wednesday.

When not selling lemonade, Paige enjoys playing with friends and Kaley enjoys playing with the family’s dogs.

Kaley’s into art. She said it’s her favorite thing about school. Paige said her friends are what she likes most about school.

An officer’s wife made the girls T-shirts with their fundraiser’s name.

The girls will set up shop Saturday under a tent at the Veterans Day parade in D’Iberville. They will announce future locations of lemonade sales on their Facebook page.

“They’re giving a mug and a hug one smile at a time,” Wilson said.

“I think I get even more out of it than they do.”

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews