Casey and Rachel Glowaci enjoy beach time with sons Liam and Grey.

'MUSC saved them'

Three boys opened up an Isle of Palms lemonade stand hoping to make a little cash but earned something more valuable instead.

Friends Grey Glowacki and Sam Sheppard, 10 and 11 respectively, both had spent all their money on new bikes and wanted to replenish their savings through a summer business venture. Grey’s big brother, 12-year-old Liam, agreed to help.

They came up with a system. Grey and Sam would drum up business and take orders along the golf course waterway, and Liam handled the cash and poured lemonade.

“I knew they would spill it,” Liam said. Liam and Grey’s mother, Rachel Glowacki, helped the boys with budgeting, purchasing supplies and making cookies to sell each day -- but she also issued a challenge: She wanted them to use a portion of their profits to make a charitable contribution. And she had a suggestion.

Casey and Rachel Glowaci enjoy beach time with sons Liam and Grey.
"Casey and Rachel Glowaci enjoy beach time with sons Liam and Grey.

“MUSC saved them,” she explained. Liam and Grey both began their lives in MUSC’s neonatal intensive care unit. 

With Liam, Rachel’s water broke two months ahead of her due date. Rachel and her husband had planned to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in Asheville, but Liam began his arrival at 3 a.m. the day of their scheduled trip. Rachel wound up instead traveling by ambulance to MUSC to deliver their first son.

“They took him right away, because he wasn’t breathing,” she remembered. “I couldn’t hold him.”

Liam spent two weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit. Today he attends Moultrie Middle School and plays football, skates and surfs.

With her younger son, Rachel made it to the final month of pregnancy before going into labor. Delivery at East Cooper Medical Center went smoothly, and she held Grey immediately, but an hour later he stopped breathing.

Rachel felt helpless, as her newborn left in an ambulance bound for MUSC. Their family spent that Christmas in the neonatal intensive care unit, where Grey stayed for a week while his premature lungs strengthened. 

Grey now plays on a travel soccer league and attends Sullivan’s Island Elementary School.

Friends (left to right) Sam Sheppard and Grey Glowacki donated a portion of their lemonade stand proceeds to the campaign for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital.
Friends (left to right) Sam Sheppard and Grey Glowacki donated a portion of their lemonade stand proceeds to the campaign for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital. 

He, his brother and his friend Sam set up 10 lemonade stands this past summer, earning their pay one dollar, one cup at a time. The boys identified the “prime times” for sales – lunch breaks and right after work. They devised plans for an expanded business to include golf balls this coming summer. And they donated $35 to the campaign to build the new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital.

“We wanted to help the children’s hospital,” Grey said, “because they help other people.”