A small group of friends from Winter Garden worked together to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a foundation dedicated to childhood cancer research and finding a cure.
Michaela Iapaluccio and her neighbor, Sarah Opitz, were looking for something fun to do this summer. On a recent Saturday, the girls decided to build their own lemonade stand. After discovering the week was dedicated to Alex – a young girl with cancer who held lemonade stands to help other children like her – the two friends made it their mission to support the cause, as well.
“We did it for Alex,” Iapaluccio said.
Alex passed away in 2004 at the age of 8, and people all over the world continue to hold lemonade stands to find a cure. The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started in 2005 by Alex’s parents to continue her work.
Iapaluccio and Opitz raised $71 for the foundation and sent the funds by mail along with handwritten letters explaining who they are and why they wanted to help.
“People are not always perfect, and I’m lucky enough to have nothing wrong with me, but some people aren’t,” Opitz said. “So we wanted to give back to them.”
The lemonade stand took place in their neighborhood, between their two houses. The friends plan to have many more lemonade stands in the future and will advertise the event around their neighborhood and on Facebook. Their goal is to get more people involved and make it bigger and better.
“The girls were very proud of it,” said Stacy Iapaluccio, Michaela’s mother. “They got such good results, they want to keep doing it.”
Neighbors and others passing through were generous, many giving much more than the price of the lemonade.
“We actually had a donation of $20, and she didn’t even want any lemonade,” Opitz said. “She just gave $20.”
The girls expect their next lemonade stand to take place the Saturday after July 4.