Bunnell, FL (June 11, 2022) – Seven-year-old Payton Stefancik is a spitfire.

Heading over to her lemonade stand on Saturday nestled in the corner of the Country Store’s parking lot in western Flagler County, Payton zips by eagerly offering peanut butter cookies and blueberry muffins with a glass of pink or yellow lemonade to wash it down.

She’s the ultimate sales girl.

As you sip your lemonade, she offers to show you her bar routine, and before you can even say yes, she’s up in a flash spinning around on her little apparatus.

With success in mind, she started her day on a mission to raise more than $1,000 needed for her gymnastics competitions.

The competition package is $400 – this includes her leotard, jacket and other items she needs to be part of the team. The other funding goes for entry fees – $150 per event and with half a dozen on the schedule, it adds up quickly.

Mom Elizabeth Stefancik encourages Payton to work for what she wants and with her best friend Bailey, the pair came up with the lemonade stand idea. Bailey even contributed homemade blueberry muffins to help her friend out.

“Payton came up with the idea because she wanted to earn her way onto her competition levels, because we don’t hand things over, they have to earn it,” said Stefancik. “We came up with the whole lemonade stand idea. Her dad did the poster board, I went and got the pictures printed, she and her best friend Bailey glittered it all.”

The community saw Elizabeth’s request and opened their hearts and pocketbooks, and by noon, Payton had raised nearly three quarters of her goal.

“We wanted to show our support because she is working so hard to earn money to help with her gymnastic goals. I have also personally known her since she was a baby and her mother since grade school. We always try to continue to support the local kids on their endeavors whenever we can,” said Naomi Beggelman.

“And honestly she’s such a sweetheart how could I not go get a glass of lemonade and a muffin.”

From law enforcement to business owners to just people hearing about it and wanting to help, Elizabeth said the community has been generous.

“The community has been amazing,” she said. “They’ve come by just to donate, drop donations off. It has just been a blessing.”

The fundraiser is a family affair, and Payton’s ‘Nana’ Paulette Berry helped spread the word to her friends as well.

“I’m so proud of her,” said Berry, tearing up. “I’m just here to support.”

“Uncle Timmy”, Timothy Gould helps with the monthly fee that allows Payton the opportunity to participate in the gymnastics lessons at Riptide Gymnastics in Ormond. The pride in his voice watching his young niece demonstrate her floor routine was easy to hear.

“This is my beautiful little niece and being able to help her get through these gymnastics is a true blessing,” he said. “I’m just glad I’m able to help her and support her.”

Strangers stopped to offer donations.

He was surprised and grateful for the support shown to Payton throughout the morning.

“It’s nice to see everybody coming together to support her through all of this, and it’s a true blessing.”

By the end of the day – around 2 p.m. on little people time, Payton raised her goal of $1,050 and even exceeded her goal by $175, funds she can use to help others on her team meet their needs.

“It’s been great,” said Payton in her tiny, determined voice.

“Now let me show you my bar routine.”

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