Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our Alex's Lemonade Stand

Our very own Alex's Lemonade
Stand run by Sarah
Last month I decided to host a yard sale.  Anyone who has done one of these knows that it's a lot of work, and a commitment until the end.  

Our yard sale was no exception. It was indeed work.  

Daniel pretty much said every hour, "is it four o'clock yet?"  I called my sister, a yard sale veteran, several times saying that this was likely going to be my first and last yard sale.  

I don't like the haggling especially from people who are just trying to get one over on you. While I like to think of myself as a good negotiator (I do public relations for a living). So, when people arrived who I could tell needed what we were selling I worked with them. Many things I practically gave away because in those instances it wasn't at all about making money. 

In the end, the reward was great on many levels. Not only were we able to clean out some of the garage but we were able to make some money as well, which was a nice bonus. However, the yard sale would not have come about had my inspiration been only about money and free space. Instead, my inspiration came from wanting to do something for Sarah that was a childhood accomplishment that I wanted her to experience -- her very own lemonade stand.

So, I asked Sarah before any signs were put up and before a date was set for the event if she wanted to sell lemonade and treats.  She was very excited.  

It was then that I remembered back to a recent oncology medical meeting for work that I attended last month where I saw on the exhibit floor a booth for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. I knew all about the cause and found inspiration.  

It was then that I tried to explain to my five year old about cancer. It was not an easy conversation and I tried to keep it light.  What she took away was that a little girl named Alex had cancer and she loved to have lemonade stands. In fact, in 2000 when Alex was just four years old she hosted her first lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. The Foundation, Alex's Lemonade Stand, has evolved into a national fundraising movement with thousands of supporters carrying out her legacy of hope.

Since I love to volunteer and to help others, and have been sharing this passion with Sarah over the years,  I asked her if she would be open to dedicating her lemonade stand to the cause, and she agreed. Not only was she willing to donate some of her proceeds, she was okay with giving them all for this special cause.

I am pleased to share that Sarah did very well with her first-ever lemonade and treats stand. Along with pink lemonade and chocolate chip cookies that she helped make, at 25 cents each, Sarah earned just shy of $30. Before the sale Daniel and I told Sarah that we would match her dollar for dollar on whatever she made that day.  In addition her Uncle B and Aunt E chipped in another $25 to make the grand total $85.  Not bad for a days work running a lemonade stand.

Not only did we help Sarah to raise money for a special cause, we also got to benefit from many people's personal stories and experiences with cancer. It was day in which we truly connected with others and I am so glad that Sarah, at such a young age was able to experience it.

If you would like to set up your very own Alex's Lemonade Stand with your child check out the Foundation's website - as they provide tips and advice and support as well. You can also develop a personal fundraising page too if you want.

Let's continue to band together for important causes helping others with life-threatening illnesses that require much-needed research and support.

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