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Sycamore girls host lemonade stand for Oaken Acres

SYCAMORE – Lily Sender wanted to make a difference in the life of a little bird, so she held a lemonade stand.

Lily and her mother, Judy Sender, noticed a bird with his leg caught in a tree, hanging from its nest last week. Judy Sender called her sister, an avid animal lover, who suggested they take it to Oaken Acres, a wildlife center in Sycamore. Lily said she felt bad for the animals who needed help, so she wanted to raise money for them. Sunday afternoon, she set up shop on her family’s lawn in Sycamore with a lemonade stand.

“One person gave us $5,” Lily said Sunday. “We’ve been dancing and holding a sign to try to get people to stop.”

Lily, 8, and her neighbors, Gianna Hammers, 10, and Zoe Durst, 10, sold pink lemonade with complimentary pretzel rods to anyone who stopped. By Monday, they had raised $25 to donate to Oaken Acres. Lily said she has held lemonade stands in the past, but Sunday was the first time she held one so she could donate money.

Her mother said she was happy her daughter wanted to take on a project like this.

“She’s been excited and I think she’s having fun,” Judy Sender said.

Christy Gebritz, Oaken Acres director of operations, said the young bird, a robin, had to wear a small cast shoe, which was removed Monday. However, he’s young enough that he needs to stick around the wildlife center for a while.

“He’s young yet, so he’s not eating on his own yet,” Gebritz said. “As he gets bigger, he’ll get a chance to get outdoors and learn outdoor skills and adult skills, like finding food.”

Lily said she was happy to help the bird, who she aptly named Robin. She has some pets of her own.

She has two cats, a dog and two fish, so she named the bird, as well.

Gebritz said donations help feed and care for the nonprofit wildlife center, which has taken in more than 11,000 wild animals in need since it opened in 1984.

“It’s been fun,” Lily said. “I want to do it again.”

Know More
For more information on Oaken Acres, see, call 815-895-9666, or email

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