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Selling “Callie’s Coffee” to find a cure for cancer

Callie Lentz, 8, started a coffee company after losing her friend, Ben Towne, to cancer. All proceeds benefit the Ben Towne Cancer Research Foundation. (CalliesCoffee.com)

While most kids were spending their summer hanging out with friends, playing video games, or going on vacation, one little girl in Medina was hard at work.

“We’ve been working on Callie’s Coffee. I’ve had a lot to do,” says Callie Lentz.

It all started with a lemonade stand for this bright, quiet 8-year-old girl, but that was hardly enough. Callie quickly got tired of lemonade and decided she wanted to start a full fledged company. She wanted to sell something adults would really go for: coffee. And, she wanted to call the company Callie’s Coffee.

“I said, ‘What are you going to do with all that money Callie’s Coffee makes,'” says Callie’s dad, Ryan, “And, she says, ‘Give it to the Ben Towne Foundation.'”

Callie’s friend Ben had cancer. Callie and her family used to take food to the Townes’ when Ben was sick. Even though he lost the fight four years ago, Callie still remembers her friend.

“He loved cars, tennis, and golfing,” Callie recalls. “Whenever we would run down the hills, the sprinklers would stop, so we would just slip and we would help each other up.”

So, with a little help from mom, dad, and several family friends, Callie’s Coffee was launched last month to benefit the Ben Towne Cancer Research Foundation.

“We launched on a Monday and on Tuesday we did our first shipment and we sent out 130 boxes of coffee,” says Ryan Lentz.

In less than a month, Callie’s Coffee has made enough sales to donate $2,000 to the foundation. Callie has also had a chance to see some of her hard work paying off. The scientists at Ben Towne gave her a tour or their facility.

“I got to see lots of cells and medicine,” Callie says.

Cancer is more than just a word to Callie. It is a disease that took the life of her friend and it’s something she still sees in the world around her, like with the passing of local TV anchor Kathi Goertzen.

“She said, ‘You know what’s really cool dad, is that some day because of things like Callie’s Coffee and the Ben Towne Foundation, this won’t happen to people anymore,” Ryan says.

School will be starting soon, but Callie has no intention of slowing down. She is starting a coffee club where you can get Callie’s Coffee delivered to your doorstep every month and every morning. As you brew a cup, know that you are helping find a cure for cancer.

She also has a little expansion in mind.

“She doesn’t like coffee, so she said, ‘Dad, in the wintertime we need to start selling “Callie’s Cocoa,” says Ryan, “So, we’ll see.”

Find out more about Callie’s Coffee.

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