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Vandals target 8-year-old’s Gladstone lemonade stand, but he refuses to shut it down

GLADSTONE, Mo. -- A Gladstone little boy has been selling lemonade all summer, and raising money for charity. FOX4 first told you about Jacob's stand back in June after a customer threatened to have it shut down.

Area police and firefighters came out in droves to show their support, even giving Jacob their official seals of approval. However, a new set of bullies tried to destroy what the 8-year-old has worked so hard for.

Jacob is still proud of his lemonade stand.

"It`s been pretty good," he told FOX4 on Friday.

After being threatened by a customer with closing him down, he's had loads of special guests at his shop all summer.

"The neighbors, some police and an ambulance," Jacob said.

He raised $343 for missionaries through his church, and his story was shared far and wide.

"A lot of people recognize him and say, 'you`re the kid from the lemonade stand.'  And he`ll say, 'Yes!  I am!' So he kind of knows he`s a little famous in Gladstone," said Jacob's mom, Gina Martin.

Jacob and his mom were planning to close up shop soon before school starts, but over the past week, the lemonade stand's been hit by vandals three times, leaving hurtful messages.

Jacob may not understand all of it, but his mom knows exactly what they wrote, and knowing her son struggles with a speech disorder makes what the vandals wrote hurt.

"Don`t go after an 8-year-old kid. Why?  What did they do to you?  He probably served you and did it with a smile. So I don`t understand," his mom lamented.

But they're trying not to let it get them down. A Clay County deputy offered to air brush their stand and tent to make it look good as new.

"You`re not going to stop us. You will not stop us. No matter what you do. Even if you tear that down tomorrow, we will have a table and a chair set up. You`re not going to stop us no matter what," Jacob's mom said.

Jacob's hoping to keep his lemonade stand going at 61st and North Wyandotte the next few weekends. He might even switch to selling coffee and hot cocoa this fall.