YOUNG RUMSON BAKERS RAISE SOME DOUGH

Sophie Shea, center, and Kristina Taylor, right working their roadside bake sale with friend Willow Nicolaides on Saturday. (Click to enlarge)

By STEPHANIE SCHROEPFER

What began as a curbside nickel-and-dime lemonade stand turned into a fundraising phenomenon in Rumson this past weekend.

Decorated in red, white and blue, homemade goodies sold on Ward Avenue in Rumson Saturday and Sunday raised more than $2,000 for the Great American Bake Sale, a national anti-childhood hunger campaign.

Leading the effort were Kristina Taylor, 12, and Sophie Shea, 11. And they had their families baking all weekend.

Kristina’s a foodie who wants to be a chef and “watches the Food Network all the time,” according to her mother, Kathryn Taylor.

A lemonade stand Kristina and Sophie ran outside the Taylor family’s windmill on Ward Avenue was a neighborhood staple that eked out a small profit, “but we never really came up with a cause,” said Kristina.

When she saw the Great American Bake Sale promoted on the Food Network, she enlisted Sophie to help.

On their first day of selling lemonade for the effort, they grossed $30. The next day sales went up to $60. After that, the pair felt they could handle a bigger challenge, so they upped their goal and broke out the secret family recipes of pinwheels, hot fudge, lemon bars, chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal cookies.

They promoted their effort online, which enabled friends, family and fans to donate without attending the bake sale. They also placed some posters around town, told their lemonade stand customers and notified local news sources, but they were still surprised to start selling out within the first hour of selling on Saturday.

Online donations caused them to repeatedly increase their goal: $300 went to $600; $600 went to $1000. By the close of the weekend, they’d made $2,002.65.

“I can’t believe our goal was $300, and we raised over $2000,” Kristina said, as her mom was inside the house making a fresh batch of caramel. “I feel happy and proud.”