By Staff & Michael Wiseman
Photos by Tracy Krell Photography
This year at Southwest Elementary, the kids and adults involved in “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” sold over 1,300 cups of lemonade and raised more than $5,500 to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, but most importantly they saw how their school, community and friends supported our five classes of children who happen to be exceptional.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was originally started back in 2004 Alexandra “Alex” Flynn Scott passed away at the age of 8 from pediatric cancer.
When Alex was four, she had hosted hosting her own lemonade stand in the family’s front yard to help raise money for children with cancer. That original stand raised over $2,000. So her parents created the Foundation both to honor their daughter’s memory, and keep that fundraising spirit for pediatric cancer going on a national level.
Since 2004, the Foundation has rasied more than $100 million, and funded over 475 research projects nationally.
Alex’s parents also wrote a children’s book titled ‘Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand.’ Before hosting their own stand, students at Southwest read the book, which tells the true story of Alex and how “the small act of one person can have an impact on many people.” It’s the kind of sweet, colorful, and lesson-filled book that reaches elementary students in powerful ways. The students also got to learn about pediatric cancer from somebody who experienced it firsthand: a student from Reagan came and talked to the kids about what he went through, and why pediatric cancer research was so important.
The lemonade stand had another benefit as well – it helped students who sometimes struggle with interpersonal communication learn those key soft skills like turn-taking, eye contact, and sequencing. Plus, it showed them at an early age why giving back is so important.
The event’s sponsor, Maria Vernon (who is also speech-language pathologist at Southwest Elementary), was infectious when talking about the positive impact of Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
She reflected, “It helps the students understand that it’s important to support others… that we all need help sometimes.”
Alex’s Lemonade Stand is still accepting donations. You can find out how to help HERE.