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Kirkwood Child Raises Money for Veterans

A 9-year-old resident of Kirkwood stood for hours under Sunday’s 97-degree weather to raise money for veterans.

While many spent Sunday of memorial day weekend having a BBQ, going to the pool or traveling, 9-year-old Zach Hetlage went to work for a cause.

Hetlage, a 4th grader at , set up a lemonade stand at noon Sunday in front of Kirkwood’s City Hall where he hoped he could raise money to donate to veterans.

“I saw something on TV this morning, and I thought of our troops and what they need,” said Hetlage, dressed in an American-flag shirt and waving an small American flag.

Hetlage’s mother, Joanne Hetlage, explained that her son watched a news spot that morning about an event held on memorial day by the United Service Organizations, a nonprofit organization that provides morale and recreational services to members of the U.S. military.

The event, “Support our troops—Party in the park,” takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Francis Park.

“He (Zach) really wanted to do something for our troops, so we scrambled this together and got here at noon hoping to raise some funds,” Joanne said.

From noon until 8 p.m. Zach raised $239 for the USO through his lemonade stand. He took the money raised through his lemonade stand to USO’s Memorial Day event.

Joanne said she was very proud of her son and hoped other parents explained to their children the importance of Memorial Day.

“We should explain to them (children) that this day is really about honoring our troops and their families,” Joanne said. “People take so much for granted that it is important to explain kids when they are young of the sacrifices others make for this country.”

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