EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The amount of money that the students and staff of Irwin Elementary School in their efforts to riase funds to fight childhood cancer can be counted. After a year of hosting events, the kids and teachers raised $6,458. What can't be counted, though, is the huge amount of goodness, energy, and concern for others that taught everyone involved what it means to be part of a community and to work together for a good cause.
The culmination of the Irwin fundraising efforts came last Saturday, when the school hosted an "Alex's Lemonade Stand" event that included crafts and sports, and food and fun, and, yes, lemonade. The school grounds were full of spirited parents, students, and East Brunswick residents who came to help support the effort.
"We have had lots of fun events this year, " said Irwin Principal JoAnn Chmielowicz, " Kids voted and chose ALSF when they wanted to learn about community service. we decided that Irwin School has the power to be a superhero and this was the way we would use our power."
According to the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation website, "When Alex, who was diagnosed with childhood cancer just before her first birthday, was four, she told her parents she wanted to set up a front-yard lemonade stand. Her plan: to give the money to doctors to help them find a cure. Her first “Alex’s Lemonade Stand”, held with the help of her older brother Patrick, raised an astonishing $2,000 in one day. While bravely fighting her own cancer, Alex continued to set up lemonade stands every year. As news spread of the remarkable girl so dedicated to helping other sick children, people everywhere were inspired to start their own lemonade stands—donating the proceeds to her cause.
In 2004 when Alex passed away at the age of eight—her stand and inspiration had raised more than $1 million towards finding a cure for the disease that took her life. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by her parents in 2005 to continue the work that Alex began. Our mission is simple: to change the lives of children with cancer through funding impactful research, raising awareness, supporting families, and empowering everyone to help cure childhood cancer."