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Eight-year-old boy makes $20K donation to first responders fund

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BATON ROUGE – Restaurants, corporations and individuals have been donating money to help Baton Rouge Area Foundation's First Responders Fund, but one tremendous donation came from an unlikely source.

One donator, eight-year-old Benjamin Chiasson, gave to the fund after he opened his own lemonade stand to raise money.

"I just wanted to raise money for the officers, and this is one thing I decided to do," Chiasson said.

The response was magnetic.

"I thought that he would raise about $200 and I would be excited and proud of him, but we just dropped off $2,200," Benjamin's mom, Laurie said.

BRAF is seeing support flooding in for  the First Responders Fund. The fund, started nearly 30 years ago, gathers donations for injured law enforcement as well as their families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. In the past few days, the fund has reached nearly $144,000.

The outpouring of support from people across southeast Louisiana has really been amazing," John Carpenter, BRAF director of donor services, said.

"We've had people from all over North America contact the foundation, thousands of miles away sending us thousands of dollars," Carpenter said.

Benjamin's lemonade stand is a part of trend amongst local youth wanting to raise money for the fund, but for him the cause is a bit more personal.

"I want to be a police officer because, well, these people are very, very special and they help our country," Benjamin said.

 The act of giving is the tone surrounding the community in an effort to show support to local law enforcement. Those wishing to donate to the cause will have the opportunity to do so during the Unite for Our Heroes telethon hosted by WBRZ at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

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