First graders host lemonade stand in memory of their friend

MADISON Ala. -- People have different ways of overcoming tragedy. Regardless of their method, it's never easy, especially for children. But a group of local kids found a way to overcome a tragedy that hit close to home.

The first graders of Mill Creek Elementary eagerly handed out cookies, brownies, and sweet lemonade in honor of their even sweeter friend Katherine.

"She was really funny, but one day she got really really sick," said her friend 7-year-old Lucy Carver.

Seven-year-old Katherine Reed passed away last week after fighting a brain tumor.

"Then when I just heard, my dad just told me, I just started crying," said Carver.

The parents of Katherine's classmate said this was a conversation they never expected to have with their child.

"We just sat her down and told her, and she didn't really understand at first," said parent Kellie Ray. "It chokes me up thinking about it because it was very emotional."

She said the lemonade stand was a way for the children to come together and remember the impact Katherine made in her short life.

"We just hope that they feel the love from the community and from Mill Creek because we are with them for whatever they need," said Ray.

Mailboxes tied with purple ribbon lead to the lemonade stand that's collecting donations for Katherine's family. Katherine's friends say most of all, they will miss her laugh and her smile. They said Katherine was a friend to everyone.

"Every time someone came up to the door, she thought she knew them, so she just ran up and gave them a hug, and said, 'What's your name,'" said Carver.

The principal of Mill Creek Elementary School said when anyone remembers Katherine, the first thing they will think of is love.

"Katherine loved everyone unconditionally. She would walk down the hall, and she would turn around and she would immediately give you that big smile," said Principal Carmen Buchanan. "She would come up with a big hug. Katherine loved big, and we are all better for knowing Katherine."

Customers left the stand with a cold glass of lemonade and a note reminding them to love like Katherine did.