Area kids raise money for pediatric cancer
by Morgan Smith
Several south Charlotte boys and girls took their front yard lemonade stands to the next level last weekend when they used the conventional fundraiser for an unconventional gift.
Ballantyne-area club Boys on a Mission, a local group of 9- and 10-year-old boys who are dedicated to service in the community, and Girl Scout Troop 1010 based out of St. Gabriel Catholic Church, pledged to raise money on Saturday, June 9, for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. The national fundraising movement is in honor of Alexandria Scott, a cancer patient who held a lemonade stand in her front yard to raise money for pediatric cancer. The two groups raised more than $2,000 total for the cause.
When searching for a service project idea, Boys on a Mission member Joshua McGee was excited when his mom showed him Alex’s Lemonade Stand in a magazine, especially since he’s been doing lemonade stands for years. June was Joshua’s month to plan a service project for the group.
“We found it together in a magazine, but truthfully, he loves to do lemonade stands for fun,” Dawn McGee, Joshua’s mom, said. “He talked about the cancer and he said ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
The group originally formed more than a year ago to collect sports equipment for the Boys and Girls Club, but have since taken on more projects like working and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Charlotte and local food banks.
The group raised more than $700 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in their Ballantyne Country Club neighborhood and online – their goal was $300. McGee said the project proved to be one of the group’s favorites so far.
“I thought it would be fun and I wanted to donate to cancer research,” Joshua said. “My friend’s little brother died from brain cancer when he was (five).”
Joshua added that service projects are important because people who are fortunate should give back to those in need.
It’s the same case for Girl Scout Troop 1010. The group of 13 9-year-old girls frequently gives back to the community. That’s part of their mission in Girl Scouts.
“They were looking for different ways and outreach we can do,” Cristin Ackerman, troop leader of the group, said. “I saw it in a magazine and it really resonated with me because my daughter had forever wanted a lemonade stand. Once I went online and looked it up, I was just overwhelmed.”
To kick-off their project, the girls held a mini-stand at the St. Gabriel preschool where they raised $300. Saturday, their stand in the Cameron Wood neighborhood proved to be a big success. Combined with online donations, the girls racked up more than $1,400, with some donations still coming in. Their goal was $1,000.
“The girls loved it – they totally got into it. They made signs and paraded up and down the street with them,” Ackerman said. “I think we’ll do it again.”
Ackerman said the girls liked the project so much the group is considering using the fundraiser for their Girl Scout Bronze Award, a kid-led project that involves 20 service hours in the community.
“We thoroughly enjoyed it and we’re so, so pleased with everyone. We were just really touched by the desire people had to help us,” Ackerman said.
Want to help?
The Dogwood Trees and Kiddie Academy at 9310 Blakeney Center Drive will host the next benefit for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in south Charlotte. It’s Aug, 2, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. People can make donations in advance at the group’s website, http://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/83855.