A 7-year-old Texas boy has raised more than $22,000 selling hot chocolate and lemonade to help build President Trump’s border wall.
Benton Stevens, of Austin, has been selling the drinks for $2 a cup at his homemade stand since at least February, also offering large “Nancy Pelosi” marshmallows and smaller “Beto O’Rourke” marshmallows to melt in the hot chocolate, according to local media reports.
A sign in front of his stand reads, “Proceeds help Trump build the wall.” Since his stand has received a wave of publicity, non-local donations are being made to Benton’s Venmo account.
The boy recently donated $22,000 of his proceeds to We Build the Wall, Inc., a nonprofit group that has raised more than $22.9 million via GoFundMe for the southern border wall, the group said.
Benton attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for a portion of the wall that was built by the group on private land.
“We have 10 properties ready to go,” the group’s founder, Brian Kolfage, told KFOX. “There are hundreds more that we can use that we just have to make contact with.”
Jeff Allen, co-owner of American Eagle Brick Company, told the El Paso Times that the wall was being built on his property.
“Why wouldn’t we allow it?” Mr. Allen asked. “We have dealt with illegals coming across. We have been attacked by illegals coming across. We have been burglarized by illegals. We have drug traffickers coming through here and anyone who is against this is against America.”
Sunland Park city officials sent the property owners and the group a cease and desist letter to halt the construction, which was briefly put on hold last week until the group got the go-ahead from the city, the El Paso Times reported.
Kris Kobach, the former secretary of state of Kansas and general counsel for We Build the Wall, told the paper, “We actually applied for permits last week and we were told we were set and ready to go.”
Benton’s parents said the reaction to their son’s involvement has been mixed. In a ABC13 Houston video from February, Benton said he’s been called a “little Hitler,” the El Paso Times reported.
“Due to the attacks, Benton’s Stand has turned into much more than selling hot chocolate for the wall,” the boy’s website reads.
Supporters are also encouraged to donate to Benton as a stand against cyberbullying.
On Monday, a blue-check Twitter user by the name Zachary Fox tweeted a cartoon showing a driver about to run over Benton and his hot chocolate stand.
The tweet, which was still pinned at the top of Mr. Fox’s timeline as of Wednesday afternoon, has been retweeted more than 19,000 times.
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