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August 4, 2018
Alex's Lemonade Stand
story behind a $10-per-person "Flapjack Fundraiser" at the Greeley Applebee's next Sunday goes back to the year
2000 and 4-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Scott's lemonade stand in
her family's front yard in Manchester, Conn.
Two days before her first birthday, she was diagnosed
with a childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, and her battle began. By 2000, she had fought cancer for three years.
had just been introduced to her first clinical trial, which made her feel dramatically better," said her mother, Liz
Scott, in a phone interview. "It inspired her because shortly after that, she said she was going to have a lemonade stand.
"We didn't know why, but she talked about it for several months."
Finally, that June,
Liz asked Alex why she was so adamant.
"She said she wanted to give the money to her hospital
so they could help kids like her," Liz said. "As she got sicker each year, she would get more determined to raise
To be closer to the Philadelphia Children's Hospital, the Scott family moved to Wynnewood,
Pa., and Alex continued her annual lemonade stands
there, twice in her yard and once at her school. Her efforts drew national attention, as others put up their own lemonade stands and donated the proceeds to Alex's campaign.
"As she was older
and fought harder, perhaps it changed into her really wanting to make sure that other kids could be cured, once she knew that
she wouldn't be," Liz said. "She raised $2,000 in 2000, and then she had a stand every year in our front yard, and she would raise $12,000 and then $15,000 and it would just
go up and up."
There were stands all across the country, and Alex helped come up with the idea for
stands to take place all on one day for a massive fundraiser. It was a huge success.
"(The money) started
out going to her hospital, Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, but by the time she was 6 or so, she was determined to make
a bigger difference," Liz said. "We started funding research projects all over the country."
ensuing years, through numerous surgeries, many sieges of chemotherapy, stem-cell transplants and other experimental treatments,
Alex gave those around her lessons in bravery, perseverance and even perspective.
died on August 1, 2004. She was 8. Her efforts directly and indirectly already had led to the raising of $1 million.
cause went on.
The Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, now based in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., just outside Philadelphia, has raised more than $150
million for childhood cancer causes since it was founded in 2005.
Liz said the Foundation has funded about 820 projects,
usually in two- to three-year grants. Lemonade stands
still are part of the effort, but mainly serve as symbolism and reminders of the unselfish little girl. Liz and her husband,
Jay, serve as co-executive directors of the foundation.
Billy King, then the Philadelphia 76ers' general manager,
visited Alex's third annual lemonade stand in 2002 and championed her cause, and the team's "Hometown Hero" award at every game
was renamed after her — after she was honored as one of the winners. An annual "Lemonade Ball" in Philadelphia is one of the Foundation's major fundraisers.
after Alex's death, the colt Afleet Alex
was among the 2005 Triple Crown contenders, and his owners adopted Alex's Lemonade Stand and called attention to the cause. Afleet Alex was third
in the Kentucky Derby and won the Preakness and Belmont, and Alex Scott's pictures and battle were one of the major sports
story lines that spring.
"That was huge," Liz said. "That was really the first year
that we were doing it without Alex. We'd had a certain amount of media attention and people were interested in her, but we
didn't think we'd have that again in 2005. We just thought we'd do what we could, but Afleet Alex got so much media attention
and brought so many new people to the story and to the support of Alex's Lemonade Stand, it was a boost to our efforts."
certain progress is being made — with the foundation's help.
"We've become one of the largest independent funders
of pediatric cancer research in the country," she said. "We grant all over the country to support every phase of
research, from early laboratory innovative science all the way through clinical trials in children. That amount of money is
having a huge impact. There are studies we have funded that have directly cured kids who were previously incurable.
still have a long way to go. There are still too many kids who don't respond to anything."
fundraiser is a part of that continuing movement.
"I feel like her story and her impact would have
ended in our front yard but not for other people doing other events like this years after she passed," Liz said of Alex.
"People are carrying on, and it's having a huge impact. That keeps her spirit very much alive."
The Flapjack Fundraiser at the Greeley Applebee's, 4100 10th
St., will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. next Sunday. It's the only such Flapjack Fundraiser scheduled in Colorado, but it's
part of Applebee's month-long effort, with restaurants in the chain — including other Colorado locations owned by the
Apple American Goup — raising money in a variety of ways, including the sale of lemonade pinups and lemonade drinks
Apple American Group's restaurants include the
Applebee's locations in Arvada, Aurora (Gardens on Havana, Gateway, Iliff), Brighton, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Centennial,
Colorado Springs (Galley, Garden of the Gods, North Academy), Durango, Fountain, Grand Junction, Greeley, Lakewood, Littleton,
Longmont, Loveland, Montrose, Northglenn, Pueblo, South Pueblo, Thornton and Westminster.
Applebee's president John Cywinski said the chain has raised $8.5 million for Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
since 2005 and hopes to add $1 million to that total this year. Tickets to support the cause can be purchased in advance at
the restaurant or on the day of the event. All the proceeds will go to the foundation.
"We're really lucky to have some really big national partners, like Applebee's,"
foundation co-executive director Liz Scott said. "Like you're seeing there, they do events and they have such power with
all the customers and all the people they can touch and ask to donate. It really adds up. Most of the money that has contributed
to that $150 million is being raised a dollar at a time, five dollars at a time, very much like how Applebee's is doing it."