Calgary

This 9-year-old Alberta boy raised $33K by selling lemonade in honour of his mom

Tate Barton charges just $1 per cup. But because of what his mom meant to the community and where this money goes, he's found more than a few $20, $10 and $5 bills in his jar over the years.

Inspiring contribution to town's cancer clinic earns Tate Barton a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal

Tate Barton raised $33,000 for the cancer centre that treated his mom. She passed away from breast cancer in 2013. 0:48

Tate Barton charges just $1 per cup. But because of what his mom meant to the community and where this money goes, he's found more than a few $20, $10 and $5 bills in his jar over the years.

The nine-year-old boy has raised $33,000 in four years of one-day sales at Tate's Lemonade Stand. It's a little operation that set up shop for the first time at the 2014 Little Britches Parade in High River, about 65 kilometres south of Calgary.

Ever since he was three, Tate had dreamed of opening his own lemonade stand so he could generate a little pocket money. 

Then in 2013, Tate's mom, Jill Barton, a beloved hairdresser in the community, succumbed to her four-year battle with breast cancer.

Tate was just 2 years old when his mother, Jill Barton, was diagnosed with breast cancer. She died four years later, in 2014. (Jamie Barton)

"In her last month of her life, one of the things she charged us with was to do something — make a difference," said widower Jamie Barton, Tate's dad.

"We had no idea what it was gonna look like."

Today, that difference looks like a newly renovated, 2,400 sq.-ft. cancer clinic in High River that is six times larger than it was originally.

That difference looks also like hot lunches that are delivered to the patients there.

And it looks like Tate and Jamie's first trip to Ottawa, where Tate received a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal for his inspiring contribution.

Tate has poured every dollar he's made back into the High River Community Cancer Centre, a place he frequented all too often during his mom's treatment.

Tate's original goal was to raise $100. He raised $3,800 that first time, in 2014, and the proceeds have grown exponentially every year since. (Tate's Lemonade Stand/Facebook)

After the 2013 floods destroyed the 400-sq.-ft. facility, the community rallied together to raise $1.6 million to renovate and expand it.

"When you realize that his original goal was $100, and then it turned into $3,800 [the first year], you realize that there's something a little more to this than just a cup of lemonade," said Jamie.

And though Tate's Lemonade Stand has completely outstripped its original goal, Jamie and Tate will still be squeezing lemons come May 2018.

In the days before the May long weekend parade, you'll find them huddled together in the kitchen, brewing gallons of their secret family recipe. 

They've set their eyes on funding a new speaker series and wellness program for cancer patients in High River.

And Jamie's pretty sure Jill, wherever she is today, couldn't be more proud of her son and all he's done.

"She would be ecstatic."

Tate Jordan just received a Senate 150th Anniversary Medal for his inspiring contribution to the High River Community Cancer Centre. (CBC)

With files from Ottawa Morning