St Ives Food and Wine Fair

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What started as a moment of inspiration following her grandfather’s passing has turned into a money-making enterprise for school girl Juliette Jones, raising thousands for Motor Neurone Disease research.

When Juliette’s Italian nonno Sam died a painful death through MND in 2014, the then 11 year-old was horrified to discover there was no cure for the paralysing illness that kills two Australians every day.

“I didn’t want any other family to go through what my family had been through seeing my Nonno pass away the way he did,” says  Juliette, now 13.

Seizing upon the idea to make lemonade and sell it at markets to help researchers find a cure, today she and her family produce lemonade, lemon tarts and lemon and hibiscus body scrub in the Kogarah family kitchen.

“Lemons are healthy and plentiful in southern Italy where Nonno was from,” she says. “I wanted to make products that people enjoyed and didn’t make people sick. Lemons were ideal.”

Several afternoons a week after school she makes mini lemon tarts and the scrubs while mum Claudia makes lemonade and dad Spencer creates the lemon curd – all from hundreds of the fruit donated from friends’ backyard trees.

Selling their goodies at market stalls and cafes across Sydney, in the last two years they’ve raised $22,000 to help fund a cure for this disease which has as yet to find a cure. They’ve also pledged another $77,000 to give to Macquarie University’s MND Research Centre where they’re currently conducting trials to help slow the disease’s progress.

Catch Juliette and her mum Claudia at their aptly named LeMoNaiD stall at the third St Ives Food and Wine Festival on March 5 at the St Ives Village Green.

The community event organised by the Rotary Club of St Ives and supported by Ku ring gai Council and local businesses including the Monthly Chronicle, showcases 25 food producers, 20 wineries mostly from the Hunter, Mudgee and Orange, a boutique brewery and 25 lifestyle stalls selling products including jewellery and clothing.

The Monthly Chronicle will have a stall at the Fair – come along and say hello, grab our latest edition and hear about our plans for 2017 for our paper which turns 21 this year.

Entertainment will be provided by the Knox Pipe Band and a variety of buskers, and an animal farm, rides and face painting will keep the kids happy while you try the goodies on offer.

Proceeds from the day, which runs from 11am to 3pm, go to various charitable organisations including Room to Read, an international literacy and gender equality programme which builds schools and libraries in 10 Asian and African countries and publishes books in 27 local languages. For more, go to www.stivesfoodandwine.com

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