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Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Here at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer we love our lemonade stands. We also love the many other creative ways that our volunteers choose to support us. Something we have seen become an increasing trend over the years is the support of athletes and sporting events in the battle against childhood cancer. Athletes from all sporting arenas and all skill levels support ALSF, whether they are simply participating in an annual softball tournament or taking us along with them to the pinnacle of their sport (ie. the Super Bowl). We are so amazed by their athleticism and dedication to the cause that we thought it was only natural to create a special campaign for them.

Hence, Team Lemon was born! Team Lemon gives athletes of all skill levels, including those who are striving to become athletes, a way to raise funds and awareness for ALSF while achieving their athletic goals. One example of this is a group of five cousins who decided to take part in the Mardi Gras Rock and Roll Marathon in New Orleans this year. They knew that running a marathon would be physically and mentally demanding, but felt it was an attainable challenge. So while they were training, they decided it would be appropriate to also raise funds for children who are on a much more demanding path as they make their way through their cancer treatments. With young cancer fighters as their motivation, these cousins finished the race in New Orleans last weekend, and raised nearly $8,000 for ALSF in the process!

When we think back over the history of ALSF, there have been so many athletes who have contributed along the way. In 2005, there was thoroughbred race horse Afleet Alex who joined the fight against childhood cancer not long after we lost our own Alex. Afleet Alex had a remarkable spirit, and showed us at the Preakness, that even after stumbling, you can recover, give it your all, and win the race. Then last year another amazing sports figure presented himself to the foundation, Kenny Herriot, a world champion wheelchair athlete, cycled across the US to raise funds and awareness for ALSF. What an inspirational person Kenny is, though he experienced several hurdles during his cross country trek, he did not give up and finished his amazing race for kids with cancer.

Finally, this year as we have entered the first months of our 10th Anniversary Year, more athletes and venues have been showing their support. First it was the NFL allowing us to set up lemonade stands at the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, and now the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City will welcome a lemonade stand! We cannot begin to tell you how inspired we have been by all the athletes who have ever supported ALSF, and so we decided it was time to do something about it! So, after a decade (or two!) of not running or exercising regularly, and with encouragement from my co-workers and Jay, I will be running in the 10-mile Broad Street Run on Sunday, May 2, 2010. Jay has generously agreed to run the race as well and we have already begun training. Although it seems daunting at times, we look forward to joining the ranks of the many athletes who have supported Alex’s Lemonade Stand and kids with cancer over the years. Thank you for your continued dedication, and for inspiring us to become official members of Team Lemon.

- Liz Scott, Alex's Mom
As we continue our quest to find cures for all childhood cancers, we are constantly amazed by the dedication of the researchers who receive funding from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Through our grants program, we see firsthand how passionate they are about improving the lives of children facing cancer, and we want to share this with all of our supporters, including our own staff and Board of Directors. The funds that are raised in the name of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation are allowing these grantees to lead the way to a day when cures become realities.

During one of our recent Board of Directors meetings, we invited one of these grantees to talk about his childhood cancer research, and the path that led him there. His name is Donald W. Parsons, MD, PhD, of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Dr. Parsons, or Will as he likes to be called, was awarded a Young Investigator Grant by the foundation in 2007, and more recently was among the first recipients of our prestigious “A” Award. During his visit, we learned many things about Will, and maybe even something a little surprising – he did not plan to go into pediatrics. In fact, Will didn’t even initially plan on becoming a doctor. However, his path would eventually lead him there, and during his first rotation in residency, he chose pediatrics as a specialty, and has been dedicated ever since to making a difference for the amazing children he meets every day.

Funding from us has allowed Will and many other pediatric oncologists to pursue their passion and stay in childhood cancer research. Now, Will finds himself both treating patients and doing research in the lab. He is equally focused on patient care, and his patients inspire his determination to research genes that may be related to brain tumors. His research is promising, and has resulted in the identification of numerous mutated genes that contribute to tumor initiation and growth. It seems he is well on his way to uncovering the keys to unlock the causes and cures for brain tumors.

We are so thankful to Dr. Parsons and all of our grantees for their amazing work. Like us, these individuals have dedicated their lives to eradicating childhood cancer, and though you may not hear a great deal about them, they are working every day behind the scenes on behalf of children. We wanted to share this experience with all of you, and below you will find a short video of Will’s visit.

- Liz & Jay Scott, Alex's parents

There are so many exciting things happening at Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation as part of our 10th Anniversary Year – and we want to involve all of you as much as possible. As we went through our initial planning stages for the year ahead, we thought why not give our supporters the opportunity to design our 2010 commemorative t-shirt?!

So, that’s exactly what we did! Starting on Wednesday, February 3, we issued a challenge to all of our supporters - design our 2010 t-shirt. The only requirement– submit a unique design that would help us commemorate our milestone year. Initially, the contest was slated to run for only 10 days, but when a nor’easter blew through much of the country, we extended through Sunday, February 9.

From there, the ALSF staff worked fervently to narrow down the submission to the top 3. It wasn’t long before the submissions, created both by hand and electronically, took over our conference room as the staff gathered to vote. Collectively we were able to identify our top three and we sent the final vote back to our supporters. With over 2,000 votes, the winning design was crowned:



>> PRE-ORDER THE SHIRT TODAY!

We would like to thank all those who participated and congratulate the winning designer, Brad Hosbach. Hosbach is a middle school art teacher who paints and designs t-shirts in his free time. Not only will Brad have his design featured on our 2010 t-shirt, but he will also receive an ALSF prize pack along with the other two finalists.

Here are the other top designs:





Follow us on twitter and facebook for more opportunities to contribute to our 2010 celebratory year!

- Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation

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