By: Erin Weller, ALSF Writing Intern
After she was given a life-changing treatment at the age of 4, Alex Scott was determined to raise money to give to her doctor so he could help all kids the way he helped her. She wanted to fund better treatments and research projects to find cures for all childhood cancers.
Alex’s first lemonade stand on July 1, 2000 turned into a movement to cure childhood cancer. Twenty years later, the goal hasn’t changed. This month, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) will be spotlighting some stand-out lemonade stands to highlight how any small idea can blossom into something big.
1. Sydnie Bayles
This 16-year-old was awarded the Lemon Ball Stand Host of the Year award in 2018 and has not taken her foot off the pedal since. At 2 years old, Sydnie’s heart was set ablaze with a passion for helping others, and 14 years later, she’s set the fundraising world on fire. Sydnie is attempting to raise one million dollars for ALSF before she graduates high school – a feat once accomplished by Alex Scott.
2. The Mozer Family
After a devastating diagnosis in 1998, the Mozer family knew they needed to join ALSF’s fight in honor of their 16-month-old son, Jacob. One lemonade stand at a Hy-Vee supermarket grew into a 20-store-wide empire of lemonade stands. The Mozer’s original stand set off a domino effect, transforming their small fundraiser into the weekend event that became Midwest Lemonade Days.
3. Riley Gillespie
At 9 years old, Riley Gillespie had no idea how his best friend’s “one-time” celebratory lemonade stand would evolve. Nearly 14 years later, Riley’s stand has grown into a town-wide annual event complete with amusements, raffles, and so much more! His heartfelt reflections as Lemon Ball Stand Host of the Year in 2015 are wrought with humility, accrediting all his successes to the ALSF supporters who have attended his stand year after year.
4. Courtney Smith
The King of Prussia Lemonade girls set a goal of raising $100 at their first stand, but after exceeding their goal ten times over, the girls knew they were capable of much more. Weekly lemonade stands yielded a massive amount in donations, plus a surprise visit from the Scott family. After meeting Alex Scott, inspiration touched their hearts, sending Courtney and her friends off on a lifelong journey to give back.
5. Lily Adkins
At 8 years old, brain tumor survivor Lily had a pretty big dream – one that was 10 feet tall and able to hold 1,750 gallons of lemonade to be exact. Through the inexplicable kindness of strangers and friends, Lily’s “Big Lemonade” cup broke world records, towering over her front yard lemonade stand. Now 14 years old, Lily has gone on to break more records, make more plans, and hold more stands!
This year, ALSF is celebrating 20 years since Founder Alex Scott hosted her first lemonade stand kicking off a global movement to cure childhood cancer. Discover two decades worth of stories inspired by one girl’s belief in helping kids, like her, fight cancer.
Erin Weller is part of the ALSF Summer Internship Program. She is a junior at Fairleigh Dickinson University, studying creative writing with minors in communications and screenwriting. She loves following her inspirations, and after interning at Walt Disney World, she decided to turn her attention towards nonprofit work and found ALSF to be the perfect fit.