Today marks National Lemonade Day, and there's no better way to honor it than by giving to Alex's Lemonade Stand. Today, several restaurants around the country will donate all proceeds from the sale of lemonade (and, in some cases, spiked lemonade drinks and lemonade-inspired desserts), to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), which raises money to fight childhood cancer (more details below).
We spoke to Liz Scott, the co-executive director of Alex's Lemonade Stand (and the mother to Alexandra, who started the foundation with her own lemonade stand), about the organization to find out where we could get these drinks, and how to make a difference in fighting childhood cancer.
The Daily Meal: How did the idea come up for the fundraiser and to partner with restaurants and bars?
Liz Scott: Over the years, we’ve received an outpouring of support from the restaurant industry and chefs like Marc Vetri, Jonathan Waxman, and Suzanne Goin, so it was only natural to partner with some of them for National Lemonade Day. It’s a unique way to support the foundation and get people involved.
How many restaurants/ bars are participating?
There are over a dozen restaurants participating in the fundraiser, including Hill Country Barbecue Market’s New York City and Washington, D.C. locations, Hill Country Chicken, all Rosa Mexicano locations nationwide, Silverleaf Tavern, Nios at Kimpton’s The Muse Hotel in New York City, as well as Carmine’s and Dr. Granville Moore’s in D.C.
How do you think the fundraiser will raise awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and childhood cancer?
This fundraiser will raise awareness for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the battle against childhood cancer by bringing Alex’s message to customers who may not have previously heard her story. These restaurants are providing an easy and simple way for their customers to make a difference in the lives of all kids with cancer — all they have to do is order a glass of lemonade or dine out on National Lemonade Day — it’s pairing something they may already be doing with the opportunity to contribute to a great cause.
Have you done a fundraiser like this with restaurants in the past? Any inspirational stories from customers, restaurants?
We have had the pleasure of working with several restaurants since the inception of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and have been thrilled with the outpouring of support from the restaurants and their customers. What has been inspirational is that many diners who have found out about Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation through a visit to their favorite restaurant have in turn continued to support the cause. Whether they think holding a lemonade stand is something fun to do with their kids or whether they are athletes who raise funds while participating in a 5K or marathon, the constituents in these restaurants are inspired by Alex’s story and feel compelled to join the battle. It’s been wonderful to work with these restaurants and we hope that they support will continue.
What message do you want to share about Alex’s Lemonade Stand and your cause?
I think Alex is the best example of what I would share about the Foundation — that you are never too young or too old to make a difference, and that when you set your mind to something, anything is possible. Through Alex’s own cancer battle, she had a desire to help others and make a difference in the lives of all kids with cancer, not just in her own life. She knew that the funds that she raised may not find a cure in her lifetime, but she thought beyond that to others, and through a simple front yard lemonade stand (or in this case visiting your favorite restaurant), so accomplished a great deal in making a difference in the battle against childhood cancer.
How can consumers get involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand in the future?
There are several ways that customers can get involved! Hopefully their favorite restaurants will continue to raise funds for the Foundation, but additionally they can hold their own lemonade stands, we provide a great deal of support; join Team Lemon, the athletic arm of the Foundation or even attend one of our culinary events. We have had the immense pleasure of being embrace by many in the culinary community and now have three events (Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York City) that bring culinary greats together to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer. There are many ways to get involved, and the first step might be to simply visit, www.AlexsLemonade.org.