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WES class to donate Lemonade Day proceeds to WMS cancer patient

By Ali Schmitz, Staff Writer
KENNY KEMP | Putnam Review
Snap Fitness personal trainer Jeff Imel talks to Winfield Elementary students about how to best prepare for Lemonade Day. Students were required to pitch plans in front of a team of four Snap Fitness employees.
KENNY KEMP | Putnam Review Winfield Elementary students walk to a playground to tape part of a short commercial for the event. At one point in the commercial, the dinosaur chases the lemon.
KENNY KEMP | Putnam Review A Winfield student points out guidelines set through the national Lemonade Day workbooks. Each student received a book from West Virginia Lemonade Day.

One Winfield Elementary School class is organizing a large-scale fundraiser for a middle schooler with childhood cancer.

Jessie Hescht’s fifth-grade class is partnering with Winfield’s Snap Fitness for a Lemonade Day 5K on Saturday, May 20.

This is the third year Hescht’s class has participated in Lemonade Day. The national program teaches students how to launch and operate their own business. While many participants of the program start lemonade stands, Hescht’s class is taking it to another level.

The student have split up in two groups to create two themed stands selling drinks, snacks and other merchandise. They’ve also been placed in charge of promoting the event themselves. They’ve posted fliers throughout town. Last week the class even filmed a short commercial.

Hescht said the program is extremely rewarding for her students because it teaches them how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. The classes reflect on their mistakes and find solutions.

“I see even in the kids’ failures that they learn something,” Hescht said. “Sometimes they come to me and say ‘this didn’t work out.’ It’s OK, because they learn something from it.”

The two teams are competing against each other to raise the most money. Competition has become fierce in the classroom, with the occasional friendly trash talk.

“It makes it wonderful, because all you want to do is beat the other team,” said Will Bradley, a student in the class. “You want to beat them really badly.”

All proceeds go to Katie Cobb, a Winfield Middle School student battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Multiple students in the class know Katie. Those who don’t, know someone who’s had a form of cancer.

“Even if I don’t know her I want to help her,” said student Taylor Dean.

Hescht said she’s watched as her and other teachers throughout the county continue to instill the importance of charity to their students.

“I think that’s part of my mission as a teacher, to encourage them to reach out to people in the community,” Hescht said “We read books and novels all year about people who did ordinary things and made an extraordinary difference in the people around that. I think if I can model that, I can succeed as a teacher.”

Rebekah Withrow, a personal trainer at Snap Fitness, said the decision to partner with Hescht’s class was simple because it not only allows them to get involved in the community, but encourages healthy lifestyles in Winfield.

The students were required to pitch their business plans to Snap Fitness as part of preparing for the event. Withrow said after she and other staff members heard their presentations she was sure they were prepared.

“We are more than confident that the kids are excited and prepared to put on the best Lemonade Day yet,” she said.

While it’s too late to register for the 5K, community members are invited to buy lemonade and treats from the students from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of Snap Fitness on Saturday.

Reach Ali Schmitz at, 304-348-4843 or follow @SchmitzMedia on Twitter.


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