by Amie Sites
When 6-year-old Aspen Cozzello saw a video of Joe Robison’s story playing during a service at Revolution Community Church, she decided to take action.
Aspen, daughter of Anthony Cozzello, who is the lead pastor at Revolution Community Church, saw a video showing Robison’s battle with cancer.
Robison, 32, joined the Revolution Church, 3324 E. Market St., seven months ago and was recently baptized.
“When a member of our church gets baptized we record the baptism,” Cozzello said. “We played the recording during a service and the whole church, including Aspen, was able to see Joe’s struggles and battle with cancer.”
Robison found out that he had stage four colon and liver cancer in 2010, at age 30, said his mother Donna Robison. This past year the cancer spread to his lungs, stomach and lymph nodes, she said.
Robison worked at Myers Spring for 10 years before he had to quit, she said.
“Joe is a fighter,” Robison said. “He’s a caring, loving person with a great heart.” Cozzello said that Aspen attended church with Robison, got to know him and saw the cancer get progressively worse. Cozzello said that one evening when he got home, Aspen said she wanted to have a lemonade stand.
“Aspen loves to set up things, like lemonade stands and bake sales,” Cozzello said. “She has a big heart naturally and she wanted to do something to help out Joe and his family.”
Cozzello said that he made the lemonade as she created a sign on Sept. 18.
“She made a sign that said 25 cents for one cup or five cups for one dollar,” Cozzello laughed. “That was her marketing strategy.”
The lemonade was originally set up in the front yard but in Aspen’s eyes, enough cars weren’t stopping, Cozzello said.
“I went in our house for a little bit and when I came back, she had moved the stand 50 feet away to a four-way stop so more people would pass,” Cozzello said. “It was pretty neat to see her do that, and especially all by herself.”
Aspen sat at the lemonade stand for three hours and made a total of $76.
The Cozzellos went to Joe’s house and gave the money to the family.
“He had family at the house at the time and everyone started crying when they saw what Aspen had done,” Cozzello said. “I told her that we were really proud of her. She did something special, something that mattered and made a difference for someone else.”
Donna said that it brought tears to her eyes when they brought the money over.
“Seeing this little girl, at 6 years old, do something that wonderful, tore us all apart,” Donna said. “Aspen has a heart of gold and Anthony should be proud.”
Since Robison found out he had cancer in 2010, he had two main things that he wanted to accomplish, his mother said.
She said he wanted a Harley Davidson motorcycle and he wanted to see two of his favorite country singers, Jason Aldean and Luke
Bryan. Robison not only purchased a motorcycle, but he went on a ride with a large number of local residents.
Accomplishing these two wishes and seeing a 6-year-old girl take initiative and put together a lemonade stand has really touched the family’s heart, Donna Robison said.