Athletes Help Raise Money for Pediatric Cancer

June 9, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Football student-athletes James Holt, Joe Mortensen and Mike Rivera joined the effort to help raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer causes on Friday afternoon, June 6th at HyVee on <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>6th Street. The student-athletes greeted fans, signed posters and helped the staff distribute lemonade to those who donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand foundation.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

“We appreciate any opportunity we get to help a great cause like this,” Rivera said. “And to see the difference we can make as Jayhawk student-athletes is a powerful thing and a responsibility we take seriously.”

Kara Cunningham, who organized the HyVee store event and is the parent of Lane, 2, a cancer survivor, said, “The excitement of having Joe, Mike and James there generated a lot of interest and donations. Also, they signed posters for all of our cancer survivors and that is something that they’ll keep forever.”

The foundation began in 2000, when 4-year-old cancer patient, Alexandra “Alex” Scott, announced a seemingly simple idea – she was holding a lemonade stand to raise money to help “her doctors” find a cure for kids with cancer. The idea was put into action by Alex and her older brother, Patrick, when they set up the first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer” on their front lawn in July of 2000.

For the next four years, despite her deteriorating health, Alex held an annual lemonade stand to raise money for childhood cancer research. Following her inspirational example, thousands of lemonade stands and other fundraising events have been held across the country by children, schools, businesses and organizations, all to benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for childhood cancer. On August 1st, 2004, Alex died peacefully at the age of 8. She raised over $1 million for childhood cancer research in her short lifetime. Nationally, more than $18 million has been raised through the lemonade stands.