HANFORD, Calif. (KGPE)- A Hanford man with special needs is helping the community through the heatwave one glass of lemonade at a time.
Daniel Coakley has been setting up shop and selling lemonade in Hanford for nearly two decades and despite triple-digit heat, he was out as usual Friday with a smile.
He serves up the refreshing beverage with a conversation and compliment on the side.
Asking everyone “What’s your name? and sending out praises such as “how adorable” or “that’s cute.”
Parents Joe and Kathy Coakley said Down syndrome never stopped their son from doing anything and he’s always been a social butterfly.
“He just likes people. From the time he was little he’s liked people,” Kathy said.
Daniel said his sisters started the stand for him in the early 2000’s and then he took it over at 15. Since then he’s been running it every summer four days a week outside his house on Easy Street.
He’s now 32 and his simple stand is a neighborhood fixture.
“It brings it back to the old days when everyone would just come outside and have a nice cup of lemonade and it really brings the community back together,” Victoria Cuevas said.
His parents said profits don’t really matter to Daniel.
“He doesn’t really care about the money, it’s the socializing that he wants,” Kathy said. “This is part of how he gets his socializing fix,” said Joe.
Daniel said he likes to donate some of what he makes and spend some on his business card collection.
He has several accomplishments on display around his stand including a newspaper clipping from when he served as the guest conductor for the Kings County Symphony Orchestra’s and a plaque from the Chamber of Commerce.
Daniel’s stand is located on Easy Street in Hanford. He’s serving every weekday except Wednesday from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. all summer.