State honors Midland fifth grader for charitable lemonade stands

When she was five years old, Lanie Salazar was gifted a toy while she was a patient at Midland Memorial Hospital.

The kind act impacted her so much, she went on to pay it forward.

Today, the fifth grader at Fasken Elementary in Midland uses proceeds from her lemonade stands and hot cocoa bars to buy toys and gifts each year for Janet’s Closet, a toy closet for children at Midland Memorial.

For these efforts, the Texas State Board of Education (TSBOE) recently recognized Lanie as the District 15 recipient of the 2023 Student Heroes Award.

The state program honors Texas public school students who voluntarily perform acts of kindness. Students were presented a plaque and medallion during ceremonies at their respective schools, according to the TSBOE. Each of the award recipients “has displayed a heart for service and compassion for their peers, classmates, and communities,” the state said.

“Congratulations, Lanie, on this well-deserved honor,” Midland ISD officials posted online. “You are a shining example of making a positive impact. Keep up the fantastic work!”

And that’s just what Lanie intends to do. She reportedly intends to make her toy donation “bigger and better.”