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Lemonade stand shutdown brings girl fame, profits

Published Sep. 1, 2005

A 6-year-old girl who drew national attention after police shut down her neighborhood lemonade stand because she didn't have a permit has moved on to selling lemonade _ and signing autographs _ in a bigger market.

Avigayil Wardein sold lemonade Saturday night at the Fort Myers Miracle game against the Dunedin Blue Jays in the Lee County Sports Complex. She also threw the first pitch and signed autographs.

A police officer shut down the lemonade stand at the end of her driveway June 13 after an anonymous neighbor complained. The city said she didn't have a permit.

When the story got out, Avigayil's plight became fodder for CNN, MSNBC and Fox news networks, as well as the Today show and Inside Edition.

Embarrassed city officials ended up waiving the $35 permit fee, allowing Avigayil to reopen the stand selling her mother's homemade lemonade and cookies.

On Friday, Avigayil rode on a float at the Fourth of July parade in Naples.

At Saturday's game, she enlisted the help of her 8-year-old brother, Lucas, and a next door neighbor. "It's been busy," said her mother, K.C. Shaw. "Avi's almost made more money than I have in the last three weeks."