Oakdale

Girl turns lemonade into cash for charity that makes honor bands for fallen officers

When 8-year-old Millie Cox set up a lemonade stand with the goal of raising $200 to help law enforcement, she never imagined she’d exceed that goal by more than six times.

With the help of some promotion on social media by local law enforcement, dozens of people showed up to Millie’s lemonade stand at a park in Valley Home on Friday afternoon.

She asked for donations for the lemonade and cookies she’d put out and raised $1,357 to give to the Southern California-based nonprofit Honor Bands.

“I am extremely proud of her for being willing to do this,” said Millie’s mom, Melissa Bartholomew. “It is overwhelming to see the turnout today.”

Honor Bands, started by retired police officer Laura Tartaglione, makes the black mourning bands law enforcement wear across their badges when a fellow officer is killed in the line of duty.

Tartaglione, with the help of volunteers, has made more than 400,000 bands printed with the badge number of nearly every fallen officer in the Unites States since starting the charity four and a half years ago.

Of Millie’s efforts Tartaglione said Friday, “I am so touched.”

She said shipping costs are her biggest expense and the money raised by Millie will help greatly.

Her most recent shipment of 400 bands went to the California Highway Patrol office in Riverside for Officer Andre Moye Jr., who was killed Monday by a man he’d pulled over. Two other officers were shot responding to the scene.

“It appears we are wearing these mourning ribbons more now than not,” said CHP officer Tom Olsen. “We had a bad week in law enforcement not just with California Highway patrol but nationwide.

“When events like this occur, and especially (with the efforts of) someone in third grade in a small town in Stanislaus county, it just warmed us, it reminds us why we wear our badge.”

To learn more about Honor Bands or to donate visit https://honorbands.net/

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