When Alex Scott was four years old, she had a lemonade stand. But what made Alex’s stand unique was that she wasn’t making money to buy herself something; she was giving the money she made to childhood cancer research.
Scott had neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer, and only lived until the age of eight. But for four years, she put on lemonade stands and gave her money to her doctors to help them find a cure, so that other children wouldn’t have to go through what she did.
Her efforts inspired people across the country to also hold lemonade stands or other events to raise money for Alex’s cause, which has become Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a non-profit organization.
A group on campus is doing exactly that. After hosting a couple of lemonade stands across Marquette since the beginning of the semester, they are hosting a Lemon Run specifically to donate money to ALSF Sunday, Oct. 25.
Meghan Connell, a senior psychology grad prep major, started the group at Northern. She works at a summer camp for children with cancer in Wisconsin, and a little over a year ago, one of her campers passed away at age nine from cancer.
“That was really hard on me,” Connell said. “So I think this is just my way of coping with it.”
The group’s efforts have already been successful: They held a lemonade stand during Fall Fest and another in front of Wal-Mart that raised $120. From donations and registration fees for this week’s Lemon Run, they have already raised $1,800 and hope to raise more on the day of the event.
Raffle prizes will be given away at the event and there will be activities for children, like temporary tattoos. There will also be children who are cancer survivors.
“We’ve all put a lot of effort and a lot of work into this, so I feel like everything is going to go smoothly.”
According to ALSF, pediatric cancer only receives a small fraction of the money in the United States that goes to research, even though cancer is the leading cause of death among children under the age of 15, behind accidents.
Connell hopes to one day be a pediatric psychologist for children with cancer.
“I think the best part is just knowing that I’ve done something to help,” Connell said.
Connell is working with a group of about eight students. According to Abby Bush, a senior finance major and key player in putting on the Lemon Run, Connell’s spirit for volunteering is what encouraged so many of her friends to participate. Bush also said that this is a very important cause.
“We just really want to raise money for pediatric cancer,” said Bush. “Everybody’s affected by cancer all the time . and if you can give back ten dollars, it’s just a great experience.”
Bush believed that the opportunity to volunteer should also be an incentive for people to participate in the Lemon Run.
“I just feel like it’s important for everybody to volunteer and get involved in things that are important to them,” Bush said.
According to Gillian Kocher, the public relations director at ALSF, volunteers are a crucial part of what makes the foundation successful.
“Volunteers are very important to us. Just about half of our revenues or our funds every year come from volunteers,” Kocher said. “If we didn’t have that, we certainly wouldn’t be able to make the progress that we have.”
In Pennsylvania, where the foundation is based, a 5k Lemon Run will also be held on Sunday to raise money.
She said that initiative made by groups like Connell’s bring the cause to people who cannot make it to a Lemon Run in Pennsylvania and that is very important.
“I think that obviously what they’re doing is amazing,” Kocher said. “They are spreading the word to their peers, and we hope that they will continue to be involved. We are very honored that they are doing that for us.”