Local Family Raises $7,000 Selling Watermelon for a Great Cause

By Jill Fox

Lemonade stands are pretty popular over the summer, but one local family is raising big money selling watermelon in their driveway.

“Over the past six years, we have raised close to $20,000 in our front yard,” said Jenna Edwards, who hosted a watermelon stand on Sunday at her Parkland home.

For six years, she, her husband, Skyler, and their extended family have participated in Watermelons for Water Safety to raise awareness and resources for Live Like Jake.

The Edwards learned about the organization in 2012, after their then two-year-old son, James, was involved in a near-drowning in Coral Springs.

The Live Like Jake Foundation was created after Jake, 2, lost his life in a drowning accident in 2013, and it has provided over 2800 swim lesson scholarships to those who cannot afford them.

In addition to scholarships, the organization provides financial and emotional support to families who have lost a loved one or have a child with critical care needs.

After James’ accident, Live Like Jake sponsored Infant Swim Resource (ISR) lessons for Jenna’s younger son, Anthony, and her nephew, Austin, who was with James during his near-drowning.

Parkland Family Raises $7,000 Selling Watermelon

The Edwards, Davis, Demaio, Snyder, Verlsteffen, Bertelle, Rodman, Silverman, Jenkins, and Maezzi families, with Coral Springs Police Officers {Courtesy Jenna Edwards}

Watermelons for Water Safety runs throughout the summer, with individual stands popping up in backyards and driveways nationwide.

“They chose watermelons because they float, and floating is a part of ISR,” said Jenna, who, along with her five brothers and sisters, were all raised in Coral Springs and still live locally.

The family always hosts their watermelon stand on the weekend of James’ birthday, July 22, decked out in their watermelon gear, which they have accumulated over the past six years.

Parkland Family Raises $7,000 Selling Watermelon

Jenna’s sister, Jackie, with Nicholas and Skyler. {Courtesy Jenna Edwards}

This year, they raised $7,000 in just two days.

“We are a super competitive family, and we always want to win,” said Jenna, whose family’s stand has raised the most money in five out of the last six years.

In addition to her participation in Live Like Jake, Jenna has also become an ISR instructor, teaching self-rescue technique swimming lessons to children 6-months to 7-years-old.

She said, “It’s not a fun expense, like a vacation. There’s no dance recital at the end, but it’s necessary.”

To donate or to host your own watermelon stand, visit Live Like Jake.

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