Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct what was stolen. We regret the error.
BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) — A six-year-old boy’s lemonade stand was robbed last week in Belen while he was trying to raise money for a good cause. After news spread about the theft, the community stepped up and rallied around him.
“This is what our community is about and not the negative, you know, stealing, and that’s what I want to bring awareness to Belen, ’cause there are good people here,” explained Randy Gettings.
Six-year-old Connor Brock had a goal: raise $250 to donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as part of their “Lemonade Stand in July” challenge.
His parents were also raising money for Connor’s benefit: “Connor has autism level two, and we’ve used the lemonade stand not only to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital but also to teach Connor responsibility, to recognize the one dollar bill, the president on it, how to count money,” stated Abbegale Brock, Connor’s mother. She wanted to teach him about things like empathy and compassion.
That all came to a halt when thieves stole snacks, drinks, and equipment from the lemonade stand. “I was just dumbfounded because we weren’t gone long. Went to get something to eat, and it didn’t make any sense. It was items that you wouldn’t even think anyone would take,” Brock recalled.
Brock said she had to explain to Connor what had happened: “I just told him somebody else must have needed it more than we did.”
This weekend, Connor found himself back in business when two motorcycle groups rallied dozens of bikers Saturday and Sunday to help take life’s lemons—and make lemonade.
“We heard the unfortunate situation that happened to him last week, and we just wanted to stand behind him and come show some support and just let him know that we’re here, and we got his back,” said Marcos Jaramillo, president of Moose Riders Belen 1680.
Cup after cup, from Saturday to Sunday, donations came pouring in.
“I contacted all my folks, and we put it out there four days ago. Four days ago, we put this out there, and I believe we had over 56 bikes show up this morning,” said Andrew Witham, with Rogue Biker Life, “If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re definitely a part of the problem, and if we can help in any way shape or form, we’re going to.”
Folks at Connor’s lemonade stand this weekend are standing behind the boy. “As a biker community, what we’re saying as bikers is, we’re going to be there,” explained Toby Gutierrez, owner of Rogue Biker, “If you’re going to come out and do this, you can expect to see us.”
An anonymous donation of lemonade jars for Connor was also dropped off at the Belen Police Department, and Brock said the New Mexico Gas Company donated money and built him a new lemonade stand to use.