Denver mom makes lemonade out of lemons

DENVER -- Turning a sour situation sweet takes patience, persistence, and a passion.

Jennifer Knowles spent her summer trying to make a change after she and her three boys were let down on Memorial Day weekend.

They went to a park in their neighborhood to set up the boys’ first lemonade stand, raising charity money for Compassion International.

But someone called police to complain, and the stand was shut down. According to Denver city ordinance, a permit is needed to operate a lemonade stand.

“Our stomachs just sunk,” Knowles said.

So she did what you’re supposed to do when life gives you lemons: They made lemonade.

Knowles set up a website, spread her story across the country and managed to raise more than $8,000 for Compassion International with the help of local organizations that took interest in her story.

She also talked to city council about changing the ordinance.

“It’s amazing the support that everyone's rallying behind our kids,” Knowles said. “I’m really thankful that it did because it’s resulting in a positive change.”

On Monday night, the Denver City Council unanimously voted to make lemonade stands legal for kids younger than 17 years old operating in a neighborhood, no permit required. Kids can also sell tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

“We’re aware that there are people who make their living, you know, vendors licensed by the city, so we’ve put some provisions into this ordinance so it’s not an imposition on them,” said Councilman Paul Kashmann.

There is a buffer zone included in the ordinance.

Next, Knowles is working with a state senator to see if legislators can lobby and make this change statewide.

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