Lemonade Stand a Sweet Spot for Local Family
By Eugenia Moskowitz
While anniversaries usually come around faster than we expect, the tenth anniversary of the Peterson family’s “Alex’s Lemonade Stand,” to be held August 17 at the Moffat Library in Washingtonville, seems to have popped up in the blink of an eye. At least to Abby Peterson, mom of tenth grader Charlotte and eighth grader Jerry, who, with constant support from the Mirecki family, started serving donated lemonade and pastries for the nationally known cancer fundraiser back when the children were in pre-school.
Founded in 2000 by Alexandra Scott, who passed away from neuroblastoma in 2004 at the age of eight and continued as a foundation in Pennsylvania by her parents, the nationally recognized stand, which has raised more than $150 million to date, allows local children across America a legitimate and recognized framework on which to organize and create their own special way to raise funds for cancer research, all while interacting directly with their local communities. Since starting their stand in 2009, the Petersons have always held it in the middle of summer in front of Moffat, both in the original building as well as at its former temporary location after the flood of 2011. After the library’s renovation and expansion a few years ago, the lemonade stand has been back in the center of Washingtonville, serving up the sweet stuff to community members in a visible way.
The Petersons’ stand has expanded since its inception. “The Mireckis are an integral part of our efforts every year, as well as local businesses who donate gifts to be raffled off,” said Abby. “This includes baked goods, basket raffles, and face painting under our canopies. We started when the kids were tiny, with just a few platters of baked goods, and have really grown as additional friends and supporters pitch in. Everything donated is local, so people coming to the stand recognize the wares. Area families and businesses who have been touched by cancer support us, since cancer hits home for so many, and that’s why I feel this stand so successful, because people want to do something to help. And my kids feel like they’re making an impact since they see exactly where the money is going.”
“This year,” Abby said, “we are honored that Liz Scott, Alex’s mom, will visit to say hello. Moffat’s children’s librarian Emily Kinney will also provide a lemonade craft at 1:00 for the kids.”
The “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” website breaks down where individual stands’ capital goes, both in dollars and in research hours, as well as in which area hospitals the research is done. Since 2009, the Petersons’ stand has raised $11,663 which translated into 233 hours of cancer research at NYU School of Medicine, Columbia University, and Columbia University Medical Center. “So when people tell us they’ve been treated at those hospitals,” Abby said, “it really means something.”
The stand will run on August 17 from 10:00am-4:00pm outside the Moffat Library in Washingtonville, rain or shine.
CAPTION: Charlotte and Jerry Peterson are excited to run their tenth annual “Alex’s Lemonade Stand” in Washingtonville on August 17. (Photo provided)
More great stories in this week’s Orange County Post
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