Jefferson City boy's hurricane relief efforts featured in Sports Illustrated

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JEFFERSON CITY - When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas, the Patrick family watched news reports about the damage from their home in Jefferson City. 

One night, Allison and Jake Patrick asked their 6-year-old son, Hudson, if he would be interested in holding a lemonade stand for the victims of the hurricane. Just this week, Sports Illustrated featured Hudson's efforts in its story about naming Houston Texas player J.J. Watt as Sportsperson of the Year. 

Hudson "jumped at the idea," his mom, Allison, said. He held the lemonade stand. They ran out of cups on the first day because they did not expect to be as successful as they were.

People contacted Hudson's mom because they could not make it, so they had another lemonade stand a few days later and a third a few days after that. 

"The response was just incredible. Jefferson City just was absolutely amazing," Allison Patrick said. 

Three sets of firefighters were among the estimated 150 people who came to the lemonade stand over the three separate days. Some local business owners stopped to give donations. A man from Wardsville, who did not want lemonade, came on his motorcycle just to donate $20. One woman came all three days. 

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin visited the lemonade stand.

Hudson was invited to a Jefferson City Council meeting, and council members helped donate for Hudson's next lemonade stand, Allison Patrick said.

Vanessa Robertson Gray, a Fulton native who has lived in Texas since the 1970s, saw a post about the lemonade stand in a community Facebook page.

Gray now lives in Houston, and the storm damaged her home. 

"I don't even want to complain about my own damage. When I saw the devastation that other people went through, it was unbelievable," Gray said. 

She said she was "floored to see that a 6-year-old was interested in doing a lemonade stand for us." 

Gray matched the sales of one of Hudson's lemonade stands to J.J. Watt's efforts and to the Houston Food Bank. She matched the sales from another of Hudson's stands to Watt's efforts. Between Hudson's sales and the matches from Gray, they donated around $2,200.

Allison Patrick said a reporter from Sports Illustrated contacted her around two weeks ago and asked if it would be all right to include Hudson's story.

"Never in our wildest dreams did we think a little lemonade stand would turn into all this, but we are amazed at all the recognition that he has gotten, Allison Patrick said. "Hopefully this will continue his efforts and his charity as he gets older."

Gray said the Patrick family is interested in helping others year-round. 

"I'm very proud of Hudson, and I'm really glad that he got the recognition he deserved in the magazine article," she said. 

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