By: Trish Adkins
As our world is still immersed in a global pandemic, planning anything can be uncertain. But there are two things that are certain:
- Children with cancer still need our help.
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) is still here to fund research and help families.
While families have had to pivot their traditional lemonade stands plans, taking a stand is never canceled. Supporters everywhere have gotten creative with their fundraising, transforming their front yard stands into virtual events or socially distant drive-by celebrations, and more.
Here are five feel-good stories from ALSF supporters who are creatively taking a stand for children with cancer:
1. Tillery is Loved
Tillery was not quite a year old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While in treatment, ALSF helped her family with hotel stays through the Travel For Care fund. One night Tillery woke up screaming and her family rushed her to the hospital close to their hotel. Tillery had a large blood clot and needed emergency surgery.
“That hotel room that ALSF paid for saved her life,” said Tillery’s mom Alana.
Today, Tillery is a sassy 7-year-old and, together with her family, hosts lemonade stands in her hometown. This year, COVID-19 canceled their normal plans, so the family pivoted with something creative. In June they hosted a virtual lemonade party, stirring up some cuteness (and lemonade!):
2. Team Theresa
Rockstar ALSF supporters Albert and Natalie Gigliotti are hosts of the annual Team Theresa Annual Softball/Family Fun Day held each August in suburban Philadelphia. The pandemic threatened to cancel everything — but the Gigliottis, in true lemonade fashion, came up with ways for supporters to still be together, while not actually on the softball field. Their plans started with a Zoom party for the day of the event and then blossomed into a series of fun social media challenges.
Natalie challenged her friends and family to match her $100 donation and then she’d throw a lemon pie in Albert’s face! Friends and family joined in and began challenging each other:
3. Emily’s Pink Crusaders
Emily was 4 years old when she began complaining of back pain. Several days of tests and scans revealed the cause: stage IV neuroblastoma. Emily fought hard for two-and-a-half years and passed away when she 6 years old. Her family endured the worst pain, but they firmly believe they can help ensure that someday other families can be spared the pain of childhood cancer.
Emily’s Pink Crusaders has gotten creative with their fundraising this summer. Embracing the need for face coverings, the fundraising team led by Emily’s family and friends began sewing selling masks for donations. They even hosted a drive-through mask pick-up and fundraising event.
4. Donaldson Brothers
Long-time ALSF lemonade stand hosts the Donaldson Brothers in Brooklyn typically host their stand outside of a playground. The pandemic restrictions could have put a full damper on their plans, however, they’ve decided to take advantage of the rescheduled Lemonade Days and plan an interactive, safe and socially distanced version of the lemonade stand:
5. Cami Cares About Childhood Cancer
Eight-year-old Cami has made helping others part of her life for as long as her mom can remember. In her community, Cami collects birthday party supplies for kids in food-insecure homes, volunteers at the animal shelter and looks for other opportunties to help. Cami first discovered ALSF at a stand hosted by a friend.
After that, Cami decided to get involved on her own. Cami fell in love with Alex’s story after reading the book Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand that came with her stand kit. While participating in pageants, Cami made a friend who was battling childhood cancer, which further fueled her passion.
This year, in between competing in international pageants, being a sister, and working on her birthday party project, Cami and her family plan to host another lemonade stand. They’ve been practicing their drive-through skills to make sure whatever they do is safe and helps kids get cures, too.
You can get involved during Lemonade Days! Held August 1-9 this year, Lemonade Days is a great way to creatively help find cures and safer treatments for childhood cancer. Plan a virtual or socially-distanced event in your community! Get the details here.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is launching a social media campaign inspired by ALSF founder, Alex Scott’s positive outlook in times of uncertainty. We want to know how you are making lemonade out of lemons during this time - whether by learning new skills, getting creative, connecting with family or friends through video chat or doing something else that puts a sweet smile on your faces! Share your special moments with us on social media using the hashtag #MakeAlexsLemonade.