Eralyn, 4, and Jade, 6, set up a lemonade stand on their street in Clearwater to raise money for the endangered monarch butterfly. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)

Eralyn, 4, and Jade, 6, set up a lemonade stand on their street in Clearwater to raise money for the endangered monarch butterfly. (Stephanie Hagenaars / Clearwater Times)

Clearwater kids fundraise to support monarch butterflies

The girls raised almost $170 for the cause in just a few hours

After reading a book about the endangered monarch butterfly, two young Clearwater sisters decided they wanted to do something to help.

The two girls – Jade and Eralyn Prime – put together a lemonade stand in their Clearwater community Thursday and sold three types of lemonade, as well as cupcakes, raising $169.75. The proceeds are being donated to Nature Conservancy Canada to help the NCC plant more milkweed for the monarch.

Eralyn, 4, noted the milkweed plant is important to the monarch butterfly’s life cycle because that’s where they lay their eggs and die. It’s also the only plant the larvae and caterpillars eat.

The girls learned that information in a book the family read about a year ago called Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery by Meeg Pincus, which they checked out from the local library. Kaylea Prime, the girls’ mother, said though they have read other stories about the monarch butterflies since, this was the one that motivated the girls to find a way to help the migrating insects.

The book suggested some ways readers could do their part to help the monarchs, such as holding a lemonade stand or bake sale to raise funds. This sounded like a great idea, but they weren’t able to raise funds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Prime. As restrictions lifted, however, the girls were ready and excited to give it a try.

Posted on the front of their table was a sign listing a few fun facts about the monarch butterfly, accompanied by a hand-drawn picture showing how far the butterflies travel to get away from the cold. In the fall, before the cold winter arrives, the monarch butterflies make their way south to central Mexico from as far north as southern Canada.

“I remembered it for a long time,” said Jade, 6, about the information in the book, adding she likes to read and wants to become a scientist one day.

She also noted it’s important to read because “you can learn stuff.”

The lemonade stand was up for a couple of hours Thursday afternoon, and was set up again for few more in the evening, due to high demand.