Butler County girl’s lemonade stand sweetens holiday for local residents

Evie Nichols, like her lemonade stand, is small and unassuming but giving freely of herself.

The wide-eyed 4-year-old with a broad smile told her family back in October that all she wanted for Christmas was “a lemonade stand, where I can give away lemonade, Band-Aids and hugs.” said her father, Martin Nichols, of Middletown.

That’s precisely what the gleeful girl did Christmas Day, joyfully doling out those items, plus hot chocolate, homemade cinnamon rolls and ample servings of good cheer, in front of her home where Stanley Street meets Queen Avenue.

“I don’t know where it came from, but I couldn’t say ‘No,’” Nichols said. “She is the sweetest little girl.”

“And it’s Christmas today!” a visibly excited Evie interjected, bouncing up and down. “Only zero days until Christmas!”

She had help operating the stand from her father, as well as her mother, Tabby Hahn, and sisters Jadden, 13, and Katie, 11.

Evie ended up with Christmas gifts from her family, but the gift of the lemonade stand ended up as Evie’s gift to the community, which learned about the event from a post Nichols made Monday on a local social media page.

Leaving tips to help to defray the cost of the stand and its yuletide refreshments were friends, neighbors and other area residents, including members of Middletown Division of Police and Middletown Division of Fire.

A police officer exited her vehicle with candy canes for Evie, accepting a hug and allowing her to sit in the police cruiser and activate its sirens and lights.

Fire Captain David Von Bargen, who stopped just minutes after a visit from Santa Claus, grabbed a hot chocolate, cinnamon roll and a photograph with little Evie.

“I love seeing children out here doing something like this, and excited to be doing a community service,” Von Bargen said. “It’s a start of probably many great things that they’ll do.”

Nichols said the positive reaction generated by just the idea of the stand on social media is indicative of the good will shown by many Middletown residents. He said the family hopes to bring out Evie’s lemonade stand again on other occassions to connect with and give to the community.

Lemonade and hugs seemed to be understandable offerings, but why the Band-Aids?

“She loves playing pretend like she’s Doc McStuffins, and stuff like that,” Nichols said. “She just likes taking to care of people, wanting to help people.”

Or, as Evie said, “people might be hurt.”

“She is the most caring, giving little girl in the world,” Nichols said. “We’re blessed to have her.”

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