Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Dunedin boy with lemonade stand reaps windfall; neighbor under city review

DUNEDIN — T.J. Guerrero has gained international attention this week because of his lemonade stand. • Since a story about a neighbor's efforts to shut down the 12-year-old boy's venture ran in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times, T.J. has been given donations, treated to a limo ride and featured in news reports from New York to Europe. He also has given back by donating some of the money to a local animal shelter.

The neighbor, Doug Wilkey, hasn't fared as well. He is now under investigation by the city for — of all things — potentially running a business out of his home without a license.

A tipster contacted the city and pointed officials toward records that show Wilkey, as recently as March, listed his Patricia Avenue home as the principal business address for Bayport Financial Services.

Planning director Greg Rice said officials were drafting a letter notifying Wilkey, 61, that all companies operating in the city require a business tax license, which costs about $45 a year, and that home-based-business owners must sign an affidavit agreeing to follow special rules.

The Times reported Sunday that Wilkey had spent the last two summers urging City Hall and police to end the "illegal business" T.J. was running in a residential area. He ordered two reporters to leave his property Thursday.

"The irony is (Wilkey's) not following the rules either, or doesn't seem to be," Rice said.

He could face daily fines of $250 if he does not comply with the ordinance.

Meanwhile, T.J. was across town presenting $200 to the Humane Society of Pinellas, where his family years ago adopted a pit bull mix, Jazzmyn, 4.

The money was just a small portion of donations and other goodwill that have poured in since the story went viral.

Most people sided with T.J., who pairs his lemonade earnings with lawn-mowing cash to pay for things like his cellphone bill and dinners with his mother.

T.J. was interviewed by several local television news stations, and the nationally aired Fox & Friends sent a limo at 5:20 one morning to drive T.J. to Tampa, where the Palm Harbor Middle Schooler taped a segment with the show's New York anchors before class.

The Mike Calta Show on 102.5 the Bone set up a lemonade stand in T.J.'s usual spot Monday, inviting listeners from across Tampa Bay to surprise the boy when he came home from school. They raised nearly $1,100.

When the stand ran low on supplies, the family said, an anonymous donor drove from Tampa to drop off 10 bags of lemons, sugar and ice. They said other groups, including the American Legion and radio listeners in St. Petersburg, have hosted their own lemonade fundraisers for T.J.

As many as 10 people have rung the doorbell to express support, and admirers from as far away as Canada have phoned or emailed to offer donations ranging from $5 to $250 and even an iPad. Several readers said T.J.'s entrepreneurial spirit touched them.

His mother, Lori Guerrero, said the family was "overwhelmed" and "shocked" by the support.

T.J., who treated his mother this week to dinner at Juan's Mexican Grill in Dunedin, said he plans to put most of the donations in savings. His parents are setting up a college fund, and the family is exploring other charitable options.

"This situation has taught me to not let one person knock me down," T.J. said, "and to just get right back up."

Business is booming.

Tuesday and Wednesday alone, T.J. said he went through 13 pitchers of lemonade, even though Wednesday's shift had to be cut short.

There was homework to be done, his mom said. "School always comes first."

Contact Keyonna Summers at ksummers@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4153. Follow @KeyonnaSummers.

Dunedin boy with lemonade stand reaps windfall; neighbor under city review 08/28/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot

    Blogs

    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  2. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  3. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.
  4. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  5. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company

    News

    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]