All 10-year-old Carolyn Lipsick wanted to do was help kids hurt by the tsunami, because, she says, “you can’t just think of yourself, you have to think of other people.”
She had several ideas.
“A coffee stand, a snack stand, a fruit stand, any kind of stand,” Carolyn said Monday. Eventually, she settled on selling lemonade and cookies.
That’s when Carolyn got her first taste of dealing with government.
When her mom called the city of Miami Beach to find out what to do about getting a license, the answer wasn’t promising: There is a roadside-vendor ban in Miami Beach.
“I got really, really mad,” said Carolyn.
It was all a big misunderstanding, the city now says. They wouldn’t have shut down the fourth-grader if she had opened some sort of stand, Miami Beach spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez said.
Politician to the rescue
But in the end, the confusion may have been the best thing that could have happened to Carolyn. A TV station reported her license woes, and before she knew it, Carolyn found herself being whisked to Tallahassee by a politician.
“It bothers me to see any child shut down,” said state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who paid for her trip to the Capitol.
On Monday, Carolyn was selling lemonade and cookies at the state Capitol right outside Gallagher’s office, and doing pretty good business.
“I feel really good how it’s turning out so far,” said Carolyn.
On Monday she raised $492 selling lemonade to people in the Capitol. Gallagher then chipped in an additional $8 to make it an even $500, a spokeswoman in his office said.
“I feel like I’ve been useful to other people in other places,” Carolyn said.