Sean and Kyle Griffin of Massapequa were all smiles Friday as they kicked off their third annual fundraiser for the Answer the Call: The New York Police and Fire Widow’s and Children’s Fund.
Pouring lemonade for all who donated, hundreds and hundreds of people came to their lemonade stand to raise money for a good cause and beat the previous years’ fundraising amount, which was more than $16,000.
“The boys love doing this every year,” said the boys’ mom, Debi Griffin. “And it’s so wonderful to do it in Massapequa, where there are a great number of police officers and other first responders. It’s such a supportive community.”
Since 2017, the Griffin brothers have set up a lemonade stand for one day during the summer to help raise money for the families of police officers and firefighters in New York City who have been killed in the line of duty. The nonprofit they raise money for, Answer the Call, has been operating since 1985, and was founded by former New York Mets’ baseball player, “Rusty” Staub.
The Griffin brothers were inspired to start the stand by their father, Matthew Griffin, who is an NYPD sergeant, as well as having immense respect for first responders in the NYPD and NYFD. So much so, that during the fundraiser, Sean and Kyle have donned police and firefighter uniforms, respectively. As part of their support, the Griffin family pays for the lemonade and snacks provided themselves, so all of the funds raised can go directly to the Answer the Call fund.
Friday was a wonderful time had by all, with many different guests and special treats for all who came out to support. Earlier on in the festivities, NYPD cadets came marching by the stand, as well as police officers riding horseback (the horses’ support animal, Peanut the Pig, also made an appearance). Furry members of the NYPD K-9 unit were also there, which according to the elder Griffin brother, Sean, was his favorite part of the day.
In addition to the pomp and circumstance, the stand also offered more than just lemonade. The Griffin brothers also had snacks, like chips and popsicles available for all to enjoy. Additionally, those who donated could participate in raffles, with things like a beach basket, a technology and video games basket, or a girly basket to be won.
As the day started to come to an end, the boys shed their uniforms for more comfortable clothes, and guests had started to head home for the afternoon. But the day had been simply perfect, and the lemonade all the sweeter for having been a part of a good cause.