NYM daycare raises money for family of Lucille Schik

Contributed photo
Lisa Uselman’s daycare children recently served lemonade in the front lawn of her home to raise money for the family of Lucille Schik. The money raised by the daycare was matched by Mills Country Market.

By Tucker Henderson


With the recent passing of Lucille Schik, an 11-year-old New York Mills student who had been diagnosed for a second time with childhood cancer, a few local friends wanted to do something to help relieve a bit of the family’s burden.

Lisa Uselman’s daycare has been raising money for local causes for three years through a lemonade stand in NY Mills. This year, the daycare children decided that they wanted to raise money for the Lucille Schik family in order to help alleviate medical costs.

The annual fundraiser began in 2022 when Uselman’s daughters asked if they could start a lemonade stand in their front yard on Gilman Street.

“I said that’s fine, but I put the stipulation on it that in order to do it and raise money, that it would have to go back to the community somehow,” said Uselman. “So we talked about the different organizations that we could donate to and they picked the food shelf. I said ok, we’ll get groceries to donate to the food shelf.”

Uselman happened to have Tyler and Hailey Muehler’s children at her daycare and Muehler mentioned the lemonade fundraiser to his father, Tim Muehler, owner of Mills Country Market.

“He messaged me and said, ‘we’ll match whatever you guys raise,’” said Uselman. “So last year the kids chose the library, because we are big library fans here and we reached out to Tim and Tyler again and they said they would be happy to match again and the kids raised about $330 for the library that we were able to pass along to Julie. The kids gave her a list of books they’d like to see at the library and she was able to get books.”

This year’s cause became “Lemonade for Lucille,” which the daycare children chose in order to support their fellow community members.

“I watch Lucille’s cousins in daycare, so we’ve had open discussions about Lucille’s health and everything,” said Uselman. “My oldest was in seventh grade this past year and my middle one was in fourth grade with Lucille’s sister, Millie, so we’ve had open discussions about her health and when we had heard that they had found another spot in one of her scans, we talked about how things were going to get tough again.”

Being aware of the situation, the students decided to pitch in for the family’s benefit in January of 2023 by making and selling bracelets. When the annual lemonade fundraiser was coming up, they asked if they could again support Lucille and her family.

“Absolutely we can,” said Uselman. “I asked Jason and Lacey and they agreed. Then when we heard about her passing, the kids asked again, ‘can we still give the money to Lucille’s family?’ And I said absolutely, we still can. I give them options as to what organizations are available in town that they can raise money for and they just knew that Lucille’s family was going through a hard time and they just wanted to pass it along.”

Uselman advertised the fundraiser on Facebook and with signage in town and included a Venmo account that people could contribute funds with their phone in case they weren’t able to stop at the lemonade stand, but still wanted to contribute. Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., $1,000 was raised with about $400 in Venmo contributions and the rest in cash donations from people who stopped for a cup of lemonade on that hot day.

“It was really awesome to see the outpouring of support in a small community like that,” said Uselman of the fundraiser. “It really helps me as a mom and a daycare provider trying to teach these kids about giving back and doing something for someone else, especially having the community support me in trying to teach that to these kids.”

With $1,000 raised, Mills Country Market has pledged to match the funds and $2,000 will be given to the Lucille Schik family to help cover medical and funeral costs.

“It’s just the importance of giving back,” said Uselman. “Just being able to see that outpouring of support with the whole community, it was incredible. It was important for these kids to know that when someone else is having a hard time, you give back—you give what you can. It’s a life lesson and it’s something that I’m hoping my own girls and the daycare kids keep with them as they grow and get older so that they can continue to make a difference in their communities when they’re adults.”