By Terry Rogers
On Saturday, December 2, Applebee’s in Milford offered Breakfast with Santa. Children and their families were able to enjoy unlimited pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice or fountain soda. The children could sit on Santa’s lap and tell them their Christmas wishes while their families enjoyed breakfast.
“This is a way for us to give back to the community and to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” Mark Johnson, Manager of the Milford location explained. “We love seeing the faces of the kids as they visit with Santa while raising money for a good cause.”
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is a national childhood cancer foundation dedicated to raising funds for research into new treatments and cures for all children battling cancer. The program began with a front yard lemonade stand when Alexandra “Alex” Scott decided to hold a fund raiser in her front yard at the age of four. She raised more than $2,000 and, by the time of her death in 2004, had raised $1 million.
Alex was the daughter of Liz and Jay Scott, born on January 18, 1996, the second of four children. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma shortly before her first birthday. Doctors informed her parents that if she did beat the cancer, she would probably never walk again. Two weeks later, she was able to move her leg slightly when her parents asked her to kick. By her second birthday, she was crawling and able to stand with leg braces. Although these were positive signs, the family learned a year later that the tumor had returned. She underwent a stem cell transplant the day after her fourth birthday in 2000.
“When I get out of the hospital, I want to have a lemonade stand,” she told her mother after the transplant. She wanted to give the money to doctors so they could help other children like they helped her. While battling cancer herself, she and the family continued to hold front yard lemonade stands. People all over the world, moved by Alex’s story, held their own lemonade stands, donating them to her cause.
Alex passed away in 2004 at the age of eight, knowing she had helped many children like her who were battling cancer. For 13 years Applebee’s throughout the country have supported Alex’s Lemonade Stand and this year raised more than $1.3 million during their July campaign. Since partnering with the organization, they have raised more than $8 million.
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