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The Rhode Island Spotlight Weekly Feature

Giving Some Back

A 10-year-old North Kingstown boy's roadside vegetable stand has not only become a popular place to get fresh-picked produce,  but is quietly making a statement about giving back to the community. This summer he is donating half of everything he makes to Hasbro Children's Hospital. Jim Hummel tells us why.


By 9 a.m. the temperature is already heading north of 90 degrees.
But Ethan Lehnertz is undeterred.
The soon-to-be middle schooler makes his way out to a massive garden next to his family's house in North Kingstown, ready to pick. On this Saturday morning it's tomatoes, zucchini, squash, beets, peppers and eggplant.
From there it's a short walk to the makeshift vegetable stand at the front of his family's property on Shermantown Road - where Ethan will more than likely sell out by the end of the day.
If you look closely at the stand -  you'll see a contest going on this summer: Ethan will donate half of everything he makes to either Hasbro Children's Hospital or the North Kingstown Food Pantry.
Hummel: ``When did that idea come up that you wanted to do that?''
Ethan: ``Two years ago - I just liked the idea.''
What most people who stop by don't know is Ethan was attacked by two dogs when he was in first grade. He wound up in the pediatric intensive care unit at Hasbro, after undergoing eight hours of surgery. The doctors stopped counting at 500 stitches.
And in the uncluttered logic of a 10-year-old: they helped him - so he wants to help them.
But, it turns out, this philanthropist is also somewhat of a businessman.

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