PORTLAND, Ore. -- A seven-year-old Oregon City girl is getting national attention after health inspectors caused her to burst into tears when they shut down her lemonade stand.
Multnomah County chair Jeff Cogen has since personally apologized to the mother of Julie Murphy, whose lemonade stand was shut down during the popular "Last Thursday" art fair on NE Alberta Street on July 29.
Health inspectors were patrolling at the street fair and forced the entrepreneurial girl to shut down her stand because she did not have a food handler’s license.
"We didn't know that we needed a vendor’s license,” Julie's mom, Maria Fife said. “They told us we'd have to spend $120 dollars to cover glasses of 50-cent lemonade. It’s absolutely absurd."
On Thursday, Multnomah County chair Cogen said that, although the health inspectors were following the rules, there’s also a place for exercising judgment about applying those rules.
If Julie was originally upset, the national attention should be making up for it. NBC’s Jay Leno even gave her some support during his monologue Thursday night.
"As if we don't have something better to do, listen to this," Leno said. "In Portland, Oregon, a seven-year-old girl's lemonade stand was shut down by the police because she didn't get a $120 business license. [Crowd laughs] Of course, on the bright side, by closing her business she's now eligible for a government bailout. [Applause] $180,000 oh yea, here you go, here you go"
VIDEO: Leno's Lemonade Joke
Julie's plight also sparked an online movement. The Lemonade Revolt Group formed on Facebook and announced plans to set up lemonade stands at the next “Last Thursday” event in Portland as an organized protest effort.
In addition, Radio DJs Nelson and Terry from "The Buzz" organized an event to help Julie on Friday. She will be setting up her lemonade stand at the Les Schwab on SE McLoughlin Blvd. in Milwaukee and the popular DJs will help her sell as much as possible from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
As for Multnomah County, Cogen said he even had a lemonade stand as a kid, and his kids have them, too, so he certainly understands the appeal for a youngster.
"I don't think our biggest threat in the community is the proliferation of lemonade for seven-year ODs. But health inspectors are about keeping people safe," Cogen said.
KG Reporter Anne Yeager contributed to this report.