7th-Annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand: “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”

Sometimes the littlest among us make the biggest impact. Such is the case of Alexandra “Alex” Scott, an 8-year old girl who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer, just before her first birthday. As Alex battled the disease, she was wise beyond her 4 years, when she told her parents that she wanted to set up a front-yard lemonade stand, with the plan of donating the money raised to doctors to help them find a cure. Her first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” held with the help of her older brother, Patrick, raised an amazing $2,000 in one day. While bravely fighting her own cancer, Alex continued to set up lemonade stands every year. By2004, at the age of eight, her stand and inspiration had raised more than $1 million towards finding a cure for the disease that was to take her life. Since 2011, Southwest Elementary School has carried on the legacy of caring, and taking the lemons that you get with life and making lemonade, as Alex did. This year marks the 7th-Annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand, with the students’ participation and community support growing each year.

Exceptional Children Doing Exceptional Things

“During the 2011–2012 school year at Southwest Elementary School, the speech-language pathologists at the school had an idea to host Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The students in the Exceptional Children’s classes would work on their communication skills while helping Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation fight pediatric cancer. That first year the students raised $706 to support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Each year, student participation grows, as does the community involvement. During the previous years, Champion/Hanes Brands supplied T-shirts for students, silent auction items were donated by those in the community, invitations were designed by Tammy Mutter, photography was by Tracy Krell, and PDQ donated10 gallons of fresh lemonade and cups. Over the past 6 years, we have raised $21,480, and we hope to match what we raised last year, which was $7,000,” related Maria Vernon, Speech-Language Pathologist at Southwest Elementary School.

More than Just Squeezing Lemons

There is much more in the preparation for an Alex’s Lemonade Stand than getting the lemonade ready. “Our children with special needs in EC-PK 3, EC-PK 4, Readiness (K-1st), Core 1 (2nd-3rd) and Core 2 (4th-5th) start working with a speech-language pathologist on the communication exchange necessary to sell the lemonade 6 weeks before the lemonade stand. The students are working on the social skills, planning, sequencing, turn-taking, and communication skills needed to sell the lemonade. The students practice and work hard and are excited about planning and participating each year. This lemonade stand is possible because our amazing EC teachers and students, parents and community, have donated silent auction items and lots of support for our school and students that we are so grateful for,” commented Maria. Beyond the monies raised through this event, Alex’s Lemonade Stand teaches students the importance of helping others, “one cup at a time.” Small things can make a big difference! “Boys and girls in the Exceptional Children’s program at Southwest Elementary learn about helping others in need while working on academic, social, and communication skills needed to sell lemonade. We want our students to understand why we support Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Our students read Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand, a book about Alex’s life, and we discuss what lessons we can lean from Alex and her dream to help others. By helping other kids sick with cancer, it’s a lesson that we all need to understand—which is, ‘We all need help sometimes.’ Our students at Southwest Elementary School learn about community, communication and character through this event, Southwest’s school theme,” stated Maria.

The 7th-annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand is at Southwest Elementary School, 1631 Southwest School Road, Clemmons, NC, on June 5th, 2018, with the silent auction beginning at 8 am and going to 1 pm, and the Lemonade Stand from 10:30 am to 1 pm. The cost is 50 cents per cup. To make a direct donation to the “7th-Annual Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” visit https:// www.alexlemonade.org/mypage/1394416. For event updates, visit https://www.facebook.com/ SouthwestElementarySchoolSupportsALSF/.


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