Cupcakes, lemonade help grant dream vacations for challenged kids

FARGO-Even before Addie Loerzel and her family were granted a dream vacation to Disneyworld three years ago, she was on a mission to help other kids experience something similar.Now 10 years old, Addie and her friends have again dressed up like p...
Ten-year-old Addie Loerzel of Moorhead is surrounded by fairytale princesses and pageant winners as they sell cupcakes and lemonade to help children who are ill, disabled or abused. They were on Main Avenue in Moorhead Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The donations benefit the Sunshine Foundation, the organization that made a dream vacation come true for Addie, who gets around in a wheelchair. 
Dave Wallis / The Forum
Ten-year-old Addie Loerzel of Moorhead is surrounded by fairytale princesses and pageant winners as they sell cupcakes and lemonade to help children who are ill, disabled or abused. They were on Main Avenue in Moorhead Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The donations benefit the Sunshine Foundation, the organization that made a dream vacation come true for Addie, who gets around in a wheelchair. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO-Even before Addie Loerzel and her family were granted a dream vacation to Disneyworld three years ago, she was on a mission to help other kids experience something similar.

Now 10 years old, Addie and her friends have again dressed up like princesses and handed out cold drinks and sweet treats across the F-M metro to benefit the Sunshine Foundation.

It's the fifth time around for the "Addie's Pretty Princess Lemonade Stand and Bake Sale" to raise money for dream vacations for children with disabilities, long-term illness or who've been abused.

For the Moorhead girl with spina bifida, it's about paying it forward to the organization that sent her and her family to Orlando in 2013 to meet her favorite princesses.

"I wanted people to have their dreams come true," said Addie after she and her mother and a pair of Disney princesses delivered boxes of cupcakes to Dawson Insurance in downtown Fargo.

During the morning and early afternoon on Tuesday, Aug. 9, the group delivered the fancy cakes to businesses that pre-ordered them. Among them, Dawson Insurance took 50 cupcakes; the corporate office at American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead took 200.

Then mid-afternoon, Addie and friends set up outside the Ace Hardware store in Moorhead to take additional free-will donations for the cupcakes and lemonade.

All of the money raised will go toward a Disneyworld vacation for 8-year-old Tyler Rustand and his family from Elizabeth, Minn. Tyler has autism and it will be the very first vacation for him and his family, just as the 2013 trip was the first for the Loerzel family.

"I definitely stand back in awe and say 'All these people are out here supporting my kid and her mission' and it makes you feel good," said Marisa Bengston-Loerzel, Addie's mother.

Before Addie and friends could deliver the cupcakes, other family friends put in hours in the kitchen.

Kristine Boser and her daughter Hannah pumped out 1,100 cupcakes over the past several days.

Boser's cousin, Evonne Johnson, who works at Dawson Insurance and placed the company's order, said the cupcakes are made from scratch.

"The last two days, her kitchen has been grand central station for baking," Johnson said.

Samantha Anderson, dressed as Jasmine from "Aladdin," and Andrea Hanson, dressed as Snow White, were both happy to help deliver the goodies and help out at the lemonade stand.

"I've known Addie since she was 6," said Anderson, a personal care assistant to Addie for four years.

"It makes me feel good to help out, and when else does a 34-year-old woman get to be a princess?" said Hanson, a family friend.

Bengston-Loerzel said Addie and her princesses have raised more than $10,000 for the Sunshine Foundation over the past three years or so, and they plan to continue in the years ahead.

"There's no way we could do it without all this support," she said.