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Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

You know the old saying that accessories make the outfit? Well, accessories also make your lemonade stand! ALSF has all the extras you need to make your stand Stand Out from the crowd! Here are my top 5 favorite event accessories from Alex’s Shop:

Alex's Shop has the perfect accessories for your lemonade stand! 


by Megan Tanney, Merchandise and Production Coordinator

You know the old saying that accessories make the outfit? Well, accessories also make your lemonade stand! Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) has all the extras you need to make your stand Stand Out from the crowd! Here are my top 5 favorite event accessories from Alex’s Shop:

1. Collect donations in style
Where does the money go? First it goes in our donation container! Watch the donations stack up in our ALSF-branded donation container, complete with a coin slot lid.

2. Elevate your selfies
 Have your visitors take photos with our Selfie Sign and tag @alexslemonade. It's not all about fundraising, but spreading awareness too!

3. Keep yourself in the shade with our signature Lemon Shades
Lemonade Days are sunny days! We’ve got you covered with our Lemon Shades. Our bright yellow sunglasses will definitely help you stand out and let everyone know that you're fighting childhood cancer. Lemon shades are sold in a multipack of 10, so you can share the shade! 

4. Make your mark
Attract more people and let everyone know what your fundraising for with our trendy pennant flags! Fabric banners are also available—both are the perfect way to elevate your lemonade stand and let everyone know you are raising money for childhood cancer research.

5. Cups, of course
Serve every cup of lemonade in our ALSF-branded cups! Let everyone know that with their donation we're one cup closer to finding a cure for childhood cancer. Our cups are sold in a package of 100, so everyone can enjoy a cup of icy cold lemonade! 

Visit Alex's Shop to find even more items to decorate your stand and make a difference.

Megan Tanney grew up with pink lemonade in the refrigerator and a love of design. The Merchandise and Production Coordinator job is a dream come true for Megan!

Categories: 
Lemonade Days
Partnering with local businesses is a great way to raise more awareness of the need for childhood cancer research.

by Anita Gates, Manager of Partnerships

One great way to expand your lemonade stand is to get local businesses involved! Local businesses can help you raise awareness, increase donations and bring more traffic to your lemonade stand. Asking and getting the yes can feel daunting, but it is actually not as tricky as it seems. Here are my tips for getting the yes and help make your Alex’s Lemonade Stand a success! 

1. Pick a business where you are the customer.
If the owner sees you on a regular basis, they are much more likely to say yes!

2. Do some research.
Find out about the business. Are there other charities they support? Have they supported Alex's Lemonade Stand in some other way before? Is there a good way to link their business to your stand? Take a look at their social media pages and learn more about their businesses. 

3. Share your reason. 
Let the business owner know why you are hosting an Alex’s Lemonade Stand. If there is a personal connection, share that story! Your inspiration will likely inspire the business owner to participate. 

4. Be prepared. 
Have all of the details of your fundraiser ready. If you are asking someone to support your stand in person, plan ahead to a time when you know the business owner will be available to talk. If you are asking via email, be sure all the details in your email are correct and include a link to your fundraising page. Don’t forget to follow up with them over the phone – especially if you don’t get a response. 

5. Be specific. 
Be ready to ask for specific support—do you want donated supplies? Do you want help spreading the word about your stand? Are you looking for a cash donation or volunteers? Be ready to tell the business what they can do for you! 

6. Smile!
Even though you might be nervous, smile! Smiling is contagious and the business owner will smile back (and no yawning—that is contagious, too!) 

7. Say Thank You!
Whether you get the yes or you get a no, always say thank you!  If you get a yes, send them a handwritten thank you note, an email and also thank them on social media! Publicly thank them with a sign at your stand. You can never say Thank You, enough!

8. Include your new local business sponsor in your lemonade stand!
Have fun with your new relationship. Invite the business owner to your stand, take photos, introduce them to your other volunteers and tag your business partners on social media. 

9. Share your success and say thank you, again! 
After your fundraiser, share photos and your success and say thank you, again! 

Now get out there and have a fun fundraiser!!

Alex's Lemonade Days are held June 3-June 11, 2017.  Pick a day (or days!) that week and host a stand! Sign up here <link to registration page>(it's easy!) Thank you for joining us to find cures, one cup at a time! 

Anita Gates is Manger of Partnerships at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.  She is a grateful Mom to a Hero and a Super Sib.  

Categories: 
Lemonade Days
After a childhood cancer diagnosis, life can feel out of control—and it can be hard to hold your child steady through treatment. ​Here are tips from a Child Life Specialist

After a childhood cancer diagnosis, life can feel out of control—and it can be hard to hold your child steady through treatment. 

by Trish Adkins, ALSF

The moment your child is diagnosed with childhood cancer is the moment your world shifts—forever. Fear, chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, days and nights in the hospital and blood draws become part of your daily routine. For your family, life can feel out of control—and it can be hard to hold your child steady through their diagnosis. 

Tommi McHugh, a child life specialist and educator at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado in Denver, says there are things you can do to help your child and your entire family feel rooted during childhood cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. 

“Everything is so out of control. So if there are things you can hold steady, hold them steady,” says Tommi. Here are four things that Tommi recommends parents and caregivers do to help their family cope following a cancer diagnosis:

1. Normalization  
Letting your kids be kids through their cancer treatment can help them feel like themselves. All children can benefit from being with friends, making choices and being allowed to feel all the emotions that are normal—happy, sad, angry and goofy, too. It is important to encourage your children to participate in the activities they always have, as long as those activities are safe. “If their counts are good, they can play,” says Tommi.

2. Limit Setting
Holding steady to family limits can go a long way to helping kids feel like things are not out of control. According to Tommi, when parents change the rules or let kids have everything they want, it increases their fear instead of making them feel safe. Stick to your family rules, behavior expectations and consequences as best as you can. 

3. Maintaining Routines
It may sound impossible to maintain your family routine in the hospital or clinic setting. But, just like limit setting, maintaining routines is a critical part of helping your child to feel steady. So stick to family routines as much as possible. If your child eats lunch at 11:30 each day, then have them eat lunch at that time. If bedtime is 7:30 pm, try and get your child to bed at that time, no matter where you are. Parents should feel okay to advocate for those things with their child’s medical team. Discuss your child’s routine right away with the medical team and ask what accommodations can be made to keep your child steady in their routine. 

4. Giving Control
According to Tommi, one of the hardest things for kids battling a chronic or life-threatening illness is that they lose their sense of control. This holds true for all ages—infants who do not get to eat when they want to teenagers who are no longer able to flex their independence. Parents can give their children a sense of control by providing them with real choices and giving them permission to make those choices. Contrived choices like— “Do you want to take your medicine now or in a few minutes?”—make kids really mad. However, choices they can make like “What would you like for dinner?” or “Do you want to help set up a medication schedule”—empower kids and giving them a sense of control. 

Tommi will lead an in-depth discussion on coping with a “new normal” at the upcoming Childhood Cancer Symposium Regional Series on May 30 in Denver. 

The Denver symposium will kick off a four-city series. Each event is designed to equip families to cope with a cancer diagnosis and offer the chance to connect with other hero families. 

Featuring talks from ALSF-funded researchers and presentations providing local support and resources, these symposiums are an ideal learning opportunity!

If you aren’t able to attend in Denver, we hope you will join us at one of our future symposiums! 

Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 – Kansas City, MO

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 – Houston, TX

For more information, visit AlexsLemonade.org/Symposium or call 866-333-1213.

My daughter Alexandra “Alex” Scott lost her life to childhood cancer in August of 2004. It was only a few short months prior that she had set out on a mission to raise $1 million through volunteer-run lemonade stands across the country. Alex truly was the wind in our sails, the gas in our engines, and when she died, the fate of her dream to find cures through those lemonade stands hung in the balance. I am not one to believe in signs, or that things are meant to be.

“An angel kept me safe. There was someone up there who helped us, little Alex kept me on," said Jeremy Rose, Afleet Alex's jockey. ​

by Jay Scott, Alex’s Dad

My daughter Alexandra “Alex” Scott lost her life to childhood cancer in August of 2004. It was only a few short months prior that she had set out on a mission to raise $1 million through volunteer-run lemonade stands across the country. Alex truly was the wind in our sails, the gas in our engines, and when she died, the fate of her dream to find cures through those lemonade stands hung in the balance. I am not one to believe in signs, or that things are meant to be, but shortly after Alex’s death, we received a phone call that may very well have laid the groundwork for what would become Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation — the continuation of our daughter’s legacy to find cures for all kids with cancer.

I can remember when the phone call came in, my wife Liz took the call, and the person on the other line said simply:

“We own a horse that is pretty good, and we have been donating anonymously to Alex’s cause whenever the horse wins. Would it be okay if we kept donating, but go public with it?”

My wife Liz and I knew nothing about horse racing at the time, but in our minds, we thought, why not? We soon learned that the owners had undersold the ability of the horse, he was more than “pretty good.” The horse, who was coincidentally named Afleet Alex, was good enough to receive an invitation to the Kentucky Derby in 2005, possibly the most prestigious race in horse racing and the first in the Triple Crown Series. As part of the newly formed partnership with Afleet Alex, our family was invited to the Kentucky Derby to set up a lemonade stand, and just like that, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) was on the world’s stage.

While Afleet Alex did not win the Kentucky Derby (he came in a respectable third place), the Kentucky Derby provided us with an amazing opportunity to expose Alex’s Lemonade Stand to new people, and as an added bonus, the horse racing and sports media began covering the story of the two Alexs.

A short two weeks later, our family packed up once again and headed this time to Baltimore for the second race in the series, The Preakness Stakes. Again, we set up a lemonade stand at the race, and the momentum and excitement surrounding the day were palpable. As we watched the race, we saw up close and personal when Afleet Alex stumbled to his knees nearly bucking his jockey, Jeremy Rose, off. It could have been a tragic turn of events for both the horse and jockey, but instead Afleet Alex miraculously not only righted himself, but took off from the field to win by almost six lengths — in horse racing that is a huge margin to win by. In the post-race interview, Jeremy Rose was asked how he didn’t fall off the horse, he responded: “an angel kept me safe. There was someone up there who helped us, little Alex kept me on.”

It was clear that day the similarities between my daughter and Afleet Alex, they both showed spirit and strength to overcome adversity and race on. When the final day of the Triple Crown came, the Belmont Stakes, our immediate family couldn’t be there, so Alex’s grandparents, aunts and uncles completed the “Triple Crown” of lemonade stands at the race. You see, we had a prior commitment, it was the same date as Alex’s “Original” Lemonade Stand. This would be the very first stand we would hold without Alex, and while there were tears shed that day, Afleet Alex gave us hope for the future. When post time finally arrived, we were still cleaning up from the lemonade stand, but we all huddled inside of the elementary school where Alex’s stand is held and watched on a tv provided for just this purpose. As we anxiously awaited the outcome, Afleet Alex seemed to have run out of luck staying in the middle of the pack until the last turn. But then, life found his feet and Afleet Alex took off once again, leaving the field in his dust. He won again by many lengths, showing the spirit of our Alex, to never give up, and that it is never too late to make the difference.

Today, Afleet Alex is living the good life, retired to a horse farm in Kentucky, but I will never be able to thank that horse enough for what he did for the Foundation, and for our family. 

Jay Scott is the Co-Executive Director of ALSF and Alex's Dad. 

Categories: 
Alex Scott
Getting media attention for your lemonade stand is a great way to raise awareness of the need for childhood cancer research

Matt Lauer interviewing Alex Scott in 2004 on The Today Show. 

 by Annie Korp, ALSF Public Relations Specialist

One of the reasons Alex was able to raise $2,000 at her first lemonade stand was because her aunt called their local paper. There was a small write-up in the community news section. People saw it and showed up to support Alex who wanted to give the money to her doctors and her hospital by hosting a lemonade stand. 

Getting mentions in your local newspapers and community media is an amazing way to spread the word about your lemonade stand and raise awareness of the need for childhood cancer research! It is one more way your lemonade stand helps get us closer to cures for all children. 

Some event hosts are comfortable contacting their local media – whether it’s the local paper or television news station. You can find any email addresses or phone numbers with a simple Google search. If you are not as comfortable contacting the media but would like some help gaining a broader reach than your average Facebook post or community flier – don’t worry, my name is Annie Korp. I am the PR Specialist at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and I’m here to help!  

  1. When your event coach emails you after you register an event, they should include my contact information: a.korp@alexslemonade.org or 610-649-3034. My information is also included in several areas on the website, including the “Make It a Success” page.  
  2. I’ll ask you to fill out our Communications Assistance Questionnaire – also on the “Make It a Success” page. The questionnaire asks some important questions about your event, like when is the event? Where will it be? What will you be doing at the event? Selling lemonade, painting faces or having a bounce house? 
  3. I take your answers from the questionnaire and write up a press release. I’ll send it to you to review and make sure all of the information is correct. Then I will have our Communications Manager proof it to make sure there are no typos! 
  4. Once the press release is complete, I’ll create a contact list of stations, media outlets and reporters from your local area to contact. I’m from the Philadelphia area and sometimes event hosts are from another city or town that I’ve never been to, so I often ask you for some suggestions of local newspapers and television stations.
  5. Finally, I will send the press release to the local media contacts. We can work together to follow up with reporters and see if they are interested!  

When an ALSF Lemonade Stand makes the news, I post it in our Newsroom and on Twitter (@ALSFNews). Want some Lemonade Stand media inspiration? Here is a great clip about a lemonade stand that recently made headlines.  

See you in the headlines!

Alex's Lemonade Days is held June 3-June 11, 2017.  Pick a date that week and host a stand! Sign up here (it's easy!) Thank you for joining us to find cures, one cup at a time! 

Annie Korp is the ALSF Public Relations Specialist. She works with stand hosts, researchers and other partners to spread the word about childhood cancer research, ALSF programs and special events. 

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