Every dime these kids make from selling lemonade outside 15 different North Valley Family YMCA day-care centers this summer goes to help find a cure for childhood cancer. They might be too young to understand exactly what all that entails, but they do know this much. “We’re helping Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and the doctors have money for the medicines they need to cure cancer,” said 8-year-old Rebecca Feldman as the other kids nodded and held up their signs. Alexandra “Alex” Scott was 4 years old in 2000 when she was diagnosed with cancer. Looking for a way to help her doctors help her, the little girl set up a lemonade stand on her front lawn with her older brother Patrick. Every weekend she would open it for business, telling her customers that every dime she made was going to childhood cancer research. Her story made the national news, and pretty soon Alex’s Lemonade Stands began popping up all over the country. She died in 2004 at age 8 but left behind an army of kids keeping open her lemonade stands to fight cancer. So far, the nonprofit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation has raised more than $12 million for childhood cancer research. A cup of lemonade at a time. The dozen kids standing in front of Granada Elementary in the hot sun Monday have sold a little over $100 worth of lemonade at this one location so far this summer. There are dozens more like them selling about the same amount at 14 other day-care sites at elementary schools in residential neighborhoods, not on main streets. They don’t get a lot of business, and less recognition. The woman who runs the program for the North Valley YMCA, Nicole Casper, thought it would be nice for her kids to get a pat on the back for their efforts, and I agree. It’s been a hot summer, and shade on these streets is at a premium, but these kids won’t quit, she says. “The first thing they want to do every morning when they get here is make their lemonade to sell for Alex,” Casper said. “Unless there’s a field trip planned for the day, they’re out there a few hours in the morning and maybe another hour in the afternoon selling lemonade.” Hawking their product for 50 cents a cup – two for $1 – like it was pure gold. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The day-care kids stood outside Granada Elementary School on Monday morning hawking their product like it was pure gold. “Lemonade,” they shouted. “Fifty cents a cup, two for a dollar.” The people driving by smiled, but nobody stopped. A few drivers waved or gave the kids the thumbs-up sign, but they all kept on going. Too bad. They missed a great cup of lemonade. The best I’ve had this summer. Most important, too.
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