11-year-old animal advocate raises more than $61,000 with lemonade stand

Delanie Dennis, an 11-year-old from Tampa, Florida, is making a difference one glass of lemonade at a time.

Delanie is the founder of a lemonade stand that, since 2019, has raised more than $61,000 for local animal rescues in the Tampa Bay area.

"I believe that somewhere out there, animals have a forever home," Delanie told "Good Morning America." "If you buy a lemonade, you can help the animals."

Delanie came up with the idea to sell lemonade to raise money for animals at the age of 7, according to her dad, Andy Dennis.

"So we talked to her about it and listened to her plan," Dennis told "GMA." "And it was like, 'Okay, let's give it a shot.'"

Delanie's family opened her lemonade stand, called Delanie's Lemonade Stand, in their Tampa restaurant five years ago.

VIDEO: 11-year-old raises over $61K for animals with lemonade stand (ABCNews.com)
VIDEO: 11-year-old raises over $61K for animals with lemonade stand (ABCNews.com)

Each month, the lemonade stand's proceeds are donated to an animal rescue organization of Delanie's choice.

"It's been truly inspiring to see someone at such a young age with such a passion for people and animals to make things happen and make a change," said Delanie's mom, Julie Dennis. "It's heartwarming."

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With her hard work, Delanie has made her mark as part of the next generation of animal advocates.

In 2022, she was recognized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as the organization's "Kid of the Year."

In her acceptance speech, Delanie told the crowd, "I especially want all the kids out there to know that I think kids, at any age, can change the world."

In addition to raising tens of thousands of dollars for animals, Delanie also volunteers her time at her favorite animal rescue, which is home to her pet donkey, Burrito.

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She also hosts an annual rescue event, called "Squeeze the Day," where people can adopt animals.

"I want to inspire my generation to help animals," Delanie told "GMA." "The future is that hopefully animals' lives will all be changed."

Delanie appeared live on "GMA" Wednesday, where she was surprised with a $2,500 donation to her lemonade stand from Veterinary Emergency Group, a veterinary hospital with locations across the country.

Delanie said the money will be donated to the organization she is supporting this month, a nonprofit that helps rescue English Mastiffs in Florida.

11-year-old animal advocate raises more than $61,000 with lemonade stand originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com