GRAND FORKS — It started off with some cups of lemonade and a few cool treats outside of Lex Olson's Grand Forks home.
"I didn't think it was going to get this big," Lex remarked.
At first, the 10-year-old wanted to raise money for a trampoline in her backyard, but then tragedy rocked her community when Grand Forks police Officer Cody Holte was killed two weeks ago during a gunfight with a suspect who was upset about being evicted from his apartment for not paying rent.
"When I heard about Officer Cody, I thought I should do that for them," Lex explained.
The fifth-grader knows what the pain is like. Her dad died when she was 2. She also lost her uncle at age 5.
"I knew it was hard to lose someone," Lex said.
Because of that empathy, Lex decided to donate all the money she earned last Friday to buy dinner for the entire Grand Forks Police Department. The goal was to raise $75, but the free smiles helped squeeze a little extra out of each customer.
"People gave us $20 bills for a cup, $100 bills for a cup," she said.
As word got out about the fundraiser, Lex needed to dispatch her cousins for backup, as people were driving from Devils Lake and Crookston just for a cup of lemonade.
"I was like, 'how could this ever get so big? It was just a lemonade stand.' It was crazy," said cousin MaKenna Mikelson.
Interstate Towing towed in support for the lemonade stand, and "coincidentally," the Grand Forks police increased patrols on the street. Lex says that left her speechless.
"I got to turn on the sirens and turn on the lights," Lex said, describing what it was like to sit in the front seat of a police cruiser.
A few hours later, when she was counting all the money, she was again speechless. Her fundraising efforts totaled over $10,000.
"It was difficult. We had to make sure we counted the right amount," Lex said.
"How many 10-year-olds go around thinking like that. To me that's the most impressing thing of all," said Lt. Derik Zimmel with the Grand Forks Police Department.
GFPD says this young girl already displays a little bit of Badge 639 in her. That was Officer Cody Holte's badge number.
"For her to have that awareness, compassion, care and sacrifice for the good of others, that was Officer Holte in a nutshell. Maybe he had something to do with this," Zimmel said.
Since she has a few extra dollars to work with, Lex has decided she will also invite the Sheriff's Department to the dinner table, so she can thank everyone who wears a badge and protects her community.
"They are more important than a trampoline, and they do so much for us," she said.
Someone who heard about Lex's generosity has ordered her a trampoline and she should have it to jump on in a few weeks.