BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – When life gave Alexandria Scott lemons, she knew just what to do.
“When she was four, she thought, ‘How could I raise money? How could I get money?’ And I guess in her mind, a lemonade stand would be a way that she could do it herself,” said Alex’s mother, Liz Scott, who lives in Philadelphia with her family.
Alex lived with a terminal cancer her whole life, but Alex’s Lemonade Stand gave her hope for each new day, and inspired the country. Alex died at 8 years old at her Philadelphia home in 2004, but 10 years later, little girls her age in Belchertown are still inspired.
Out of the 8,000 lemonade stands nationwide, 20 are considered grand stands. The Jitterbugs Early Childhood Program made Belchertown one of those by raising money for cancer research through more than just lemonade. Kids got their teacher, and Jitterbugs owner, Nicole Bennis, wet in the dunk tank, bought cotton candy, and jumped in the moon bounce for a donation.
“A small town like Belchertown, versus a place like Los Angeles that’s considered a grand stand, it’s huge. It’s a small town that comes together for a great cause for children fighting cancer,” said Melanie Maggi, one of the event coordinators and teachers at Jitterbugs.
In the past decade, Belchertown alone has raised $85,000 to add to the $80 million raised nationwide, all to help fund the 450 research projects to help children just like Alex.
Alex’s mom visited from Philadelphia. Six-year-old Lily Kolasienski selflessness and compassion really caught her attention.
“To help cancer,” Lily answered, when asked why she donated so much money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Her dad, Travis, explained the story, “By herself one day, she came and said she wanted to give all her money, her tooth fairy money and her piggybank money.”
“She would be inspired,” Alex’s mom said, as she smiled thinking about her daughter.
Alex may be gone, but her spirit is alive in the thousands of people around the country carrying on her mission to find an end to childhood cancer.