Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation Blog

Instead of hibernating on these cold winter days, warm yourself up and help Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) fight childhood cancer. From swapping lemonade for hot chocolate to using your winter sport to fundraise, there are so many great ways you can fund childhood cancer research!

Instead of hibernating on these cold winter days, warm yourself up and help Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) fight childhood cancer.  From swapping lemonade for hot chocolate to using your winter sport to fundraise, there are so many great ways you can fund childhood cancer research! 

1. Swap Lemonade for Hot Chocolate

ALSF supporter and childhood cancer hero Matthew hosted “Matthew’s Miraculous Hot Coco Stand for Pediatric Cancer Research.” Matthew, who was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer in 2014, took his stand to a local park. The result was over $8,000 raised!  You can be like Matthew and host a hot chocolate stand at your local park, in your front yard or even in conjunction with a local business. The ALSF stand kit has everything you need to get started, whether the temperatures are low or high. Sign up here

2. Host a Photo Challenge

Started in memory of Sadie Hulsey, who died from juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), the Childhood Cancer Christmas Tree Challenge invites everyone to mimic one of Sadie’s mom’s favorite holiday photo. In the picture, Sadie is wearing her holiday best and her younger sister, Lanier is napping under the tree. Supporters can recreate the picture themselves (with some hilarious results!), share it and donate via the event’s fundraising page. 

Anyone can host a similar challenge. Simply pick one of your favorite, slightly silly photos, start a fundraising page on the ALSF website and ask supporters to share their copycat photos on social media along with your fundraising page link. 

3. Become a Champion

Whether you are dunking basketballs, a goalie making saves, a wrestler tacking pins or gearing up for spring sports, you can become a Champion for Kids with Cancer! Throughout the season, your athletic goals can also be fundraising goals. Through a personalized fundraising web page, your supporters can make a one-time donation or pledge a dollar amount per goal, save or accomplishment. 

It is never too late in the season to sign-up to be a Champion.

4. Host a Cook-Off

Gather all your friends and neighbors for a cook-off or bake-off. Ask for a donation entry-fee for all cooks and have non-cooking guests make a donation to vote for their favorite dishes. No idea what to cook? Grab a copy of Alex’s Table, the ALSF cookbook, packed with great recipes from chefs all over the world. 

5. Get Social with Facebook Fundraising

Facebook makes it easy to fundraise! Head to the ALSF Facebook page ( and select “create” to start a Facebook fundraiser!   Then, invite your network to donate. You can host your Facebook fundraiser in honor of your birthday, anniversary or life event. You can also host one just because you feel inspired to help kids with cancer.  

6. Snowman Building Competition

Gather all your neighborhood snow friends and builders for a snowman building competition! Have participants make a donation to compete. The spectators can vote on who has the best snow creation by putting a small donation in the bucket of their favorite snowman. In the end, whichever snowman has the most donations, wins!  (Insider tip: order some ALSF gear to decorate your snow creation from Alex’s Shop!) 

No snow where you are? Turn your snowman competition into a sand castle competition (and of course serve lemonade!) 

7. Dinner Party

Give all your friends and neighbors a reason to skip making dinner one night! Call a local restaurant and ask to host a fundraising night benefiting ALSF. Whether a chain restaurant or a locally owned dinner spot, most restaurants have options for guests to dine and donate! 

Need more ideas? Well, we have 25 ways you can support ALSF and fight childhood cancer all winter long. Just head here

Fundraising Ideas
Over 700 new children are affected by cancer every day. For these kids, years are too long to wait. To help researchers get to the clinical trial phase quicker, ALSF established the Reach grants. The program, which awards three multi-year grants annually, accelerates researchers closer to clinical trial.

The process of bringing an idea from the lab to clinical trial can take years. Researchers are not only required to prove the effectiveness of their science, they also need to get FDA approval to provide an experimental therapy to actual patients. On top of all this, researchers also must ensure that their home hospital has the correct infrastructure in place to administer a clinical trial.

Over 700 new children are affected by cancer every day. For these kids, years are too long to wait. To help researchers get to the clinical trial phase quicker, ALSF established the Reach grants. The program, which awards multi-year grants annually, accelerates researchers closer to clinical trial. 

This year’s grantees are embracing cutting-edge trends in cancer research and working towards cures for kids battling some of the deadliest cancers. Meet our 2017 Reach grantees:

1. Dr. Gianpietro Dotti and Dr. Barbara Savoldo, University of North Carolina 

In August, the FDA approved CAR T cell immunotherapy as a standard of care for some types of relapsed leukemia. T cells, an essential part of the immune system, are collected from patients and then modified, so when they are returned to the body, they find leukemia cells and kill them. 

However, the potential of CAR T cell immunotherapy as a cure for different types of cancer does not stop there. CAR T cells have also been shown to kill glioblastoma (GBM) cells in the lab.

Dr. Dotti and Dr. Savoldo are developing a similar strategy as a potential treatment for GBM, a type of brain tumor that is notoriously hard to eliminate surgically or with chemotherapy and radiation. 

Dr. Dotti’s team has found that CAR T cells kill the majority of GBM tumor cells, but some GBM cells survive by blocking the altered T cell. Now, the team is working to make the CAR T cells unable to be blocked by GBM cells. The hope is this research will lead to a major breakthrough for children battling GBM, providing a treatment option with minimal side effects. 

Dr. Dotti’s work is co-funded with Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation.

2. Dr. Michael Burke and  Dr. Jeffrey Medin, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the second most common type of pediatric leukemia. AML progresses quickly and about half of all children relapse. Relapsed AML has a dismal survival rate—the need for treatments is urgent. 

Dr. Burke and Dr. Medin are studying the use of oncolytic virotherapy as a treatment for AML. Oncolytic virotherapy uses altered virus cells that are injected into cancer cells. The infected cancer cells can be seen by the immune system, which then goes to work to kill cancer and rid the body of infection. 

Dr. Burke and Dr. Medin take a small number of leukemia cells from a patient and infect those cells with a virus outside of the body. The virus then tricks leukemia cells into making a protein called interleukin 12 (IL-12). When IL-12 cells are returned to the patient’s body, their immune system sees the infected cells and begins attacking the leukemia cells. 

A similar approach has been successfully used with adults battling relapsed AML. If successful, this approach would not only provide a treatment option to children with relapsed disease, but also provide an alternative to intensive chemotherapy and the side effects associated with current AML treatment. 

3. Dr. Alex Kentsis, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

The causes of genetic mutations that lead to the development of cancer are still poorly understood. This is particularly true for solid tumors of children and young adults that express the PGBD5 mutation. This mutation is expressed in several solid tumors, including rhabdoid tumors, lethal tumors that can develop in any part of the body including the lungs, kidneys, brain, liver and soft tissues. 

Dr. Kentsis recently identified that the PGBD5 mutation causes the genes to rearrange and leads to the development of cancer. This phenomenon is called genomic rearrangement and is common in a majority of childhood solid tumors. Dr. Kentsis hopes that his study will lead to the development of a new therapeutic strategy to inhibit the rearrangement and move directly to the clinical trial phase, providing improved therapeutic options for children battling solid tumors. 

ALSF began the Reach grant program in 2013. Read more about our Reach grant projects here


10 ways to support childhood cancer research

This December (and beyond!) you can support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s mission of funding childhood cancer research by shopping, donating and joining the cause! Together we can find cures, one cup at a time!

Here are 10 great ways to support childhood cancer research:

1. Purchase Items from our Amazing Partners

Several of our amazing partners have incorporated ALSF into their products! If you have a jewelry lover on your list (or if you are the jewelry lover), you will adore the bracelets from Alex and Ani, Chavez for Charity, Tess + Tricia and Oriana Lamarca. Send some sweet lemon cookies from Cheryl’s special Lemonade Cookie Collection or send some sunshine with the special ALSF glassybaby votive holder. Check out our full list of sponsored products here. 

2. Shop Your Way Through Our 2017 Gift Guide

Alex’s Shop has everything you need to raise awareness and check off the gifts on your list! Our 2017 gift guide includes 10 of our favorite items that support childhood cancer awareness. From socks to sweatshirts to our signature cookbook, Alex’s Shop will make you a star at every gift-giving occasion!

3. Snag Your Invite to the Ball

Be your loved one’s fairy godmother (or godfather!) and snag some tickets to The Lemon Ball! Held each year in downtown Philadelphia, The Lemon Ball is our fanciest event of the year. Be inspired all night long, while enjoying signature cocktails and fine food.
4. Gift Research

The perfect gift for those who have everything is the gift of childhood cancer research! With donation options to fit every budget (from $25 for 30 minutes to $800 for 2 days of research), you can sponsor cutting-edge childhood cancer research on behalf of a friend or family member. Plus, ALSF will send them a handwritten acknowledgment card and you can rest easy with the knowledge that your 30 minutes of research could be the 30 minutes that leads to a breakthrough.
5. Set Up Amazon Smile

We all love last minute shopping with Amazon Prime! During the holiday season and all year long, your Amazon shopping can also benefit ALSF. When you shop at and select Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation as your charitable organization, the Amazon Smile Foundation will donate .5% of your eligible purchase price to us. 

6. Take a Survey

While you wait in long lines at the mall or spend hours at the airport for holiday travel, take a couple of surveys on SurveyMonkey and raise money for ALSF! When you sign up here and select ALSF as your preferred charity, SurveyMonkey will donate 50 cents to ALSF for each brief survey you complete. You’ll also earn a chance to win great prizes!

7. Donate Your Car

Shopping for a new car before the year ends and need to unload an old car? Vehicle donations are another way to help raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. When you donate a vehicle with Cars that Cure, you help fund important childhood cancer research. You can donate cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, ATVs and more. 

8. Pick your 2018 Lemonade Stand Date

It’s never too early (or too cold) to host a lemonade stand. Reserve your date for your 2018 Alex’s Lemonade Stand, now. Whether you host in winter, spring, summer or fall, now is the perfect time to start planning how you will make a difference in 2018! 

9. Resolve To Race

January 1st brings New Year’s resolutions! If your resolution this year is to run a marathon or get in better shape, join Team Lemon, ALSF’s charity racing team. Team Lemon members train for races, fundraise and represent ALSF all over the country. It is a great way to meet your athletic goals while helping find cures. 

10. One Cup At A Time Club

Our founder, Alex Scott, believed everyone’s contributions made a difference – no matter how big or small! The story of her lemonade stand shows how little things can have a big impact on childhood cancer. Join our “One Cup at a Time” club and follow in Alex’s footsteps by making a recurring gift each month. This is a great way to give back and help find cures, one cup at a time. 

Thank you for your generous support that will help us find cures for children battling cancer. Your support helps children like Elijah, who has been battling neuroblastoma for 13 years. Elijah’s hope for a cure comes from the cutting-edge research our supporters make possible. Read more about Elijah and how you can support his search for a cure here.

Gift Shop