Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Hi, my name is Anja Hollander, and I work for HC Brill, a baking supply company based in Atlanta, GA. One aspect of my job is to go to grocery store bakeries during their promotions and offer support. One store that I’m contracted through is Giant Eagle, a large grocery store based in Pennsylvania, with over 200 stores expanding into the surrounding states.

Giant Eagle was taking part in a special promotion with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. Their bakeries sold special “lemon” baked goods to raise awareness for childhood cancer. They also made a donation to the Foundation.

Giant Eagle ran this special promotion for 2 weeks in all of their stores. HC Brill supplied items the stores could use as part of their displays; awareness stickers to be applied to the packaging and Alex's Lemonade Stand signs. Each store created a display set up with Lemon Meringue Pie, Lemon Drop Cookies & Half cakes using Giant Eagles’ signature cake - White Almond with lemon filling.

Things went amazingly well during the promotion; excitement was high within the bakery as well as throughout the entire store, which easily carried over to the customers! The most touching part of the event was how so many people got behind and supported the cause. The stores put together some really great displays and a lot of them posted Alex’s story. Customers were drawn to the colorful displays and once they read the story, were more than happy to take home a delicious desert from Giant Eagle. A success for all involved!
Many of you know Alex as a courageous cancer advocate, a hero, the lemonade girl who was an inspiration to millions around the world. To us, she was all of these things but so much more…We would like to share with you the Alex we knew…our beloved little girl.

From the beginning, Alex did things her way – she came into the world in a hurry 13 ½ years ago, arriving more than a month before her due date. The doctor and nurse prepared us for the fact that she would probably be underweight and would most likely have to stay at the hospital for a few extra days – well, we were all surprised when she weighed in at 7 lbs. 2 oz and left the hospital with us 24 hours later. Looking back, we should have known right then that there was something special about our girl…

  • Alex was bright and smart. She had a vast knowledge of medical terms and kept close track of her medications. She always knew the names and dosages of her medications, as many as 6-8 pills at a time. She always checked on us. Alex often surprised us by knowing unusual facts…For example, she was quick to offer an accurate explanation of what a ficus plant was to her older brother Patrick when he came across the word and wondered aloud what it was; she would sometimes chime in with a solution to a tricky math or word problem; and she seldom came across a word that she did not know the meaning of.

  • Alex was protective. So much so that she earned herself the nickname “mother.” Her constant watching over of her brothers and us was most often accompanied by loads of advice, phrased in an adorable way, “I really don’t think I would do that if I were you…” or “Do you think that is such a great idea?” or, our favorite, “ I’ve told you a million times not to do that!”

  • Alex was determined. When her younger brother Joey was born someone sent us a baby swing. As we tried to put the swing together, we got very frustrated because there were no directions included. We left the room, giving up on putting it together. When we returned to the room some time later Alex had the swing put together. She said “I just need a screwdriver to tighten the screws.” When we asked how she managed to put it together she responded -“you should never give up, it’s never good to give up”

  • Alex was funny. One of her aunts visited shortly before Alex passed away and we were trying to pick a movie to watch as a family. Her aunt recommended a movie but then quickly said, “Actually I don’t think it is a good idea.” When Alex asked her why she had changed her mind her Aunt said, “Well, it is kind of depressing.” Alex immediately turned to look at her and said “trust me, I can handle depressing.”

  • Alex was confident. She believed she could do anything; even it was a physical challenge or an obstacle to overcome. She often said that if she could just get an audition for American Idol, she could definitely make it into the top 10. She was also confident that she was capable of defending herself and others against any dangers, after all, she would say, “I know karate.”
  • Alex was courageous. Despite often struggling with pain, fatigue, and other side effects, Alex rarely complained. As a matter of fact, about two weeks before she died Alex told us, very emphatically, after hearing us respond to another inquiry about how she was feeling – “Tell them I am fine. I am fine.” She showed this courage everyday, insisting that she was fine, always telling us not to worry about her.

  • Alex was wise. Several years ago we gave her the suggestion that she might want to try walking with the help of crutches because it might allow her to get around faster. Without hesitation she said “Haven’t you ever heard the story of the tortoise and the hare?” Then she said, with a smirk on her face, “slow and steady wins the race.”

  • Alex was thoughtful and kind. She was generous with brothers, friends, and other children she met at the hospital. Alex also made sure that special occasions were celebrated the right way. She also made sure they included a special gift from her ~ earrings on Mother’s Day, a framed photo on Father’s Day, a stuffed hand-knit cat she made for her baby brother Joey’s first birthday, and homemade party hats for the whole family for another brother’s birthday.

  • Alex was a girl with plans –– she was looking forward to showing her baby brother around Philly; she was determined to attend the first day of third grade, and shortly before she passed was asking about getting a motorized wheelchair so she could keep up with her friends; She planned on learning how to swim, cross stitch, and walk again.

  • Alex was a girl with her own dreams – She wanted to be a world traveler and she dreamed of going to the Grand Canyon and to Paris. She dreamed of attending college but living in an apartment so she could have as many pets as she wanted; she promised her brother Eddie that, even though she wouldn’t let him live with her when they grew up as he suggested, he could visit as much as he wanted as long as he called first. She wanted to marry her prince charming and have a family, she even put her plans of becoming an astronaut on hold because she thought she would miss her kids too much on her long trips to outer space.

  • Alex was a girl who dreamed for others – She believed that she could make a difference for kids with cancer by selling lemonade. She knew that, with the help of others, she could raise a million dollars for the cause. She dreamed that one day there would be a cure for all children with cancer.

  • Alex was an inspiration – Her bravery and composure throughout her life inspired all of us to be stronger, better people. Her efforts to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer, while she fought so terribly against her own cancer, inspired all of us to help her cause. Her love of life inspired all of us to love our lives.

  • Alex was loved. Loved by us. Loved by her brothers, Patrick, Eddie, and Joey. Loved by her Grandparents. Loved by her Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. Loved by her friends. Loved by her Doctors and Nurses. Loved by people everywhere who were inspired by her will to live.

So many times, we have heard people say that Alex “lost her battle with cancer.” We believe that this could not be farther from the truth. Alex won her battle in so many ways…by facing her cancer everyday but still managing to smile; by making the most of every moment; by never giving up hope; by living life to the fullest; and by leaving an incredible legacy of hope and inspiration for all of us.

We are proud of her; We love her; We are grateful for her life; We miss her everyday.

- Liz and Jay Scott, Alex's Parents

K12 is the Leader in Online Education, providing students all across the country with opportunities to excel both in and out of the classroom. One event we look forward to each year is Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s National Lemonade Days as it’s the perfect way for our students to help out in the community, think beyond themselves and step outside of their comfort zones to help others. Tyler’s story in GA says it all!

Tyler Sakelarios is a third grader in Georgia Virtual Academy. He decided he wanted to host a lemonade stand for ALSF and help other kids. His mother said it was a wonderful learning experience for Tyler to speak with strangers and explain what ALSF is and where the donations go.

“He is very loving and caring, and enjoyed taking part in something so important,” his mother said.

Tyler and his mom hosted their stand in a park on Saturday, June 13, 2009 where they raised $350! But first, Tyler and his parents had to go before the city council in Richmond Hill, Georgia to get approval to host the stand in the city park. Tyler was very impressed and got to learn a little of how government works. He stood before city council to tell why he would host the stand, who he was helping and they were all so impressed. The mayor of the city of Richmond Hill, Richard Davis, came out and had lemonade, and Tyler remembered he was the mayor...we got his picture with Mayor Davis. Also, a reporter from the Bryan County News was there to interview Tyler, and he made front page news on Wednesday, June 17th, 2009. It is an experience we will all remember and cherish forever. We look forward to next year’s stands!

- Dominique Dupras, K12 Events Manager