Published December 04, 2013
It appears the Oregon girl who was told she could not sell mistletoe in a public park, but could beg for money to pay for her braces, will be able to pay for dental work...and then some.
Hundreds of mistletoe orders have poured in after reports of 11-year-old Madison Root being told by a security guard that she cannot sell the item at a public park, but she could, if she wanted to, beg for money, KATU.com reported.
Root, who was selling the classic Christmas staple to earn enough money to pay for her new braces, also received $1,000 from a local entrepreneur as "seed money" for her mistletoe operations.
She was with her father at the time next to the Skidmore Fountain in downtown Portland, where the city holds a weekly market. A security guard told her that she had to stop selling due to a city ordinance that bans such activity in a park "except as expressly permitted under the terms of a lease, concession or permit," KATU.com reported
The guard then told Madison that she could sell her mistletoe outside the boundaries of the park where the fountain and the market are located, away from the crowds, or she could simply ask for donations to cover the cost of her braces.
"I don't want to beg! I would rather work for something than beg," Madison told KATU. "It's crazy. People can get money for pot. But I can't get money for braces. I'm working for this! They're just sitting down on their butts all day asking for pot."
KATU.com reports that Mayor Charlie Hales, who met with city officials to discuss the situation, will contact staff at Portland’s Saturday Market, which is located in the park, to gain a better understanding of the issue and will see if the procedures could be changed to allow children to sell at the event.
A Portland Parks Bureau spokesman told the station that begging is a form of free speech and is protected by the First Amendment. One market vendor told the station that she wished an exception to the ordinance could be made for children.
"They should have a caveat for children trying to create options for commerce, especially this time of year," Sharon Steen, who sells ceramic bowls at the market told KATU. "We encourage it. We want them to grow up and be entrepreneurs."