CHICAGO — Hundreds of people flocked to a lemonade stand in Edison Park Tuesday to honor fallen Officer Ella French.
Julia Jebsen is the five-year-old girl behind the idea that remembers French, who was shot and killed in the line of duty 10 days ago. While it has been a dark couple of weeks for the Chicago Police Department, lemons became lemonade in the very best way on Tuesday.
“I like to share kindness,” Julia said. “I thought it would be so little and now it’s like a huge thing.”
Julia’s lemonade stand in Edison Park was a big hit, raising more than $6,000 for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
“We’ve really been beat up these last couple of years, so to see everyone here supporting us and loving us and letting us know we really are appreciated here..it feels really great,” said Megan Aylward, a Chicago Police Officer.
On the eve of French’s visitation, gatherers said the lemonade stand represents so much more.
“Police officers help us every day,” Jebsen said.
The heartwarming act also served as a reminder about all the good French left behind and the daily sacrifices of law enforcement.
“They do the work that we can’t. They keep us safe,” said John Venice, an Edison Park resident. “They’re out there 24/7 doing things we can’t even think of.”
At sunrise Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker has ordered flags in Illinois to be lowered to half staff in French’s honor. French’s funeral is Thursday.