When more than 350 families gathered in Beverly Park last August to create what is now officially the world's longest line of lemonade stands, the sky was cloudy, dark and threatening rain.
The sky was clear and blue Wednesday when nearly 75 community members from Birmingham and Beverly Hills returned to Beverly Park for the unveiling of a sculpture dedicated to that effort.
According to Birmingham PTSA President Becky Brady, however, despite the clouds last August, turning the longest lemonade stand from a dream into a reality couldn't have gone better.
"This is, by far, the most amazing thing I have ever been a part of," Brady said Wednesday as dozens of Beverly students, administators and parents admired "Accession," the graceful sculpture created by Erik and Israel Nordin of the Detroit Design Center.
The sculpture commemorates the 1,399-foot line of 349 lemonade stands that snaked its way through Beverly Park last summer, a feat that, according to event organizer and Beverly parent Pat Liebler, is officially a Guiness World Record.
"This sculpture represents a point in time, but a very memorable point in time," Liebler said Wednesday. "We all work so hard for our kids and we know this is a fleeting moment ... this was one day, but it was a really good day."
According to Liebler, last summer's event ended up raising more than $50,000, $36,000 of which went back to Birmingham Public Schools and various other community organizations, such as the Birmingham Education Foundation and Detroit Public Schools.
Jamii Hitchcock, who is wrapping up her first year as principal at Beverly Elementary, said visiting the world's longest lemonade stand was her first event at Beverly.
"Wow, we really go big at Beverly," Hitchcock said, noting that above all, the project represents Birmingham Schools' dedication to creativity and entrepreneurship for its students.
However, it was Liebler who received the most accolades on Wednesday. Brady said Liebler approached her two years ago with the idea of creating the world's longest lemonade stand. At the time, she said it was only a dream but it was Liebler's vision that kept the project moving forward.
"His philosopy was that it's all about the kids," she said.
Keith Larson, the Beverly parent in charge of designing the stands, agreed.
"Without the vision and unbounded energy of Pat Liebler ... we would not be here today," he said.