By Emily Bontrager
The Lemonade Lady will make her appearance again this summer by serving up delicious lemon shake-ups in Scotland County.
Elaine Forrester, 75, is from Memphis, Missouri. For 44 years, she worked as a bus driver for the Scotland County School District, until she retired in 2017. She also worked at Keith’s Cafe for 32 years.
Around seven years ago, Elaine began making lemon shake-ups after some weather detoured an event that was scheduled to go through Rutledge, Missouri.
“It’s called Bikers Across Missouri and they start out in St. Jo and go to Hannibal. They were coming through Rutledge and there were supposed to be about 1,000 people. Rutledge got ready and the Rutledge School was going to fix breakfast for them,” Elaine said.
Kristy Eggleston-Wood and a few others decided to sell lemon shake-ups on the main street in town to raise some money as the bikers came through.
“They bought one box of lemons, and one box of lemons will make 180 lemon shake-ups,” Elaine explained.
“They borrowed the juicer from the Memphis Chamber of Commerce and there was a rainstorm, and the bikers went straight through Baring. They didn’t even come through Rutledge.”
Since mother nature took over, the lemons were not used for the event, so Kristy Eggleston-Wood came up with an idea.
“She said ‘Here. Here’s a box of lemons, and here’s the juicer. You are going to go to the fair and make lemonade.’”
“Kristy is the one who really got me started. I blame her,” Elaine laughed.
This is when The Lemonade Lady was born.
“I took it to the fair and they bought me out in one day. So, the next year, I bought two boxes for the fair and I’ve been doing it for about seven years. Well, we went through those two boxes like nothing flat and the next year I bought four boxes and that’s how many it took to go through the fair,” Elaine said.
The money raised at the fair went towards The Order of the Eastern Star charities, which change every year.
“Anywhere you see me set up, the money goes to charities or organizations,” Elaine said.
“After that, the Chamber of Commerce had always had a lemonade stand up on the square for Antique Days and they sold it the whole time. They had a meeting and knew I was doing it at the fair, and they said contact Elaine Forrester and maybe she can get her crew together,” Elaine said.
Elaine agreed to do this event as well and has received help from volunteers and the Eastern Star ladies over the years. She also helps other organizations by providing the lemon shake-ups for the stand, so they can raise money.
“At the Antique Fair, I have different organizations that come in. I have had the Rutledge School Restoration, the Bible Grove School Restoration, the After Prom parents, and the Rutledge Order of the Eastern Star,” Elaine said.
After setting up at the Scotland County Fair and the Antique Fair, Elaine decided to add another spot to set up the stand during the summer.
“For two years, up at the Antique Fair, I did it and then I got to thinking that these girls barbecue out at Gas & More on Saturdays,” Elaine said.
Elaine asked to set up at the gas station and the owners agreed and provided free ice for the lemon shake-up stand.
Besides Elaine selling the lemon shake-ups at the gas station, the Boy Scouts and After Prom parents have set up at Gas & More as well.
Another project that has benefited from the lemon shake-up stand is the Rutledge Masonic Hall.
“We have also had some very much needed remodeling done to our hall basement too,” Elaine said.
One of the things that Elaine enjoys the most is giving back and helping the community in any way possible.
“I want to do something with my time, and I have no hobbies. I see the good that the money does, and it is just my way of giving back. It is just what I like to do, and I would never do it for my own gain,” Elaine said.
Elaine also helps at her church, Memphis First Christian Church, where she is the Chairman of the funeral meals. She also helps the community by cooking for the Rutledge School Restoration.
This year, Elaine plans to raise money for a variety of charities.
“Our money will basically go to the Eastern Star Charities, like the money from Gas & More,” Elaine said.
This year’s charities for the Eastern Star will be Danny’s Wish, Fisher House-Columbia, Educational Fund Board, Masonic Youth Groups, ESTARL, Duo Dogs, Christmas 4 Kids, and the Lois J. Newman Scholarship Fund.
Some of the Eastern Star charities from 2021 that the stand helped support were, Cancer Research in Missouri at Ellis Fischel, Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, DeMolay, CHAMP (Canine Helpers Allow More Possibilities), Masonic Home, ESTARL, and the Lois J. Newman Scholarship Fund.
Besides setting up the stand at the Scotland County Fair, the Antique Fair, and Gas & More in Memphis, Elaine has set up at Fun Day in Columbia for Eastern Star. She has also made lemon shake-ups at a few graduation parties and at After Prom for the last two years.
Throughout the months of June, July, and August, The Lemonade Lady will be set up at Gas & More in Memphis. Elaine also plans to set up at the Antique Fair and the Scotland County Fair this year. Keep an eye out for the lemon shake-ups this summer to continue to support the community and these great organizations.