La Playa Co-op Stands Up Against Cancer with Alex’s Lemonade Stand

Aine Walsh, Annie Francuz, Noelle Warner, Nico Pogorzelski, Imani Black (from right to left)

How do you get little kids – really, really  little kids – to step up for health ? When life hands you lemons, you open up a lemonade stand. That’s just what the La Playa Pre-school Co-op did when they popped open their own shop last Friday June 8 to help Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

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 raise money for and awareness of childhood cancer causes—especially research into new treatments and cures—and to encourage and empower others, especially children, to get involved and make a difference for children with cancer.
Teri Avila, the Co-Director of La Playa spoke about the project, she enthused, “The children were very excited every step of the way…..from making the lemonade to drinking it and then selling it.  The children got the chance to be a part of a larger community effort which shows them that it’s important to help others. The experience was fun and meaningful.”

  Eugenie Lago , one of the La Playa parents who organized the event, said the children were into the idea the whole way. “The kids squeezed hundreds of lemons in preparation for our big day.  Some kids were anxious to sell while most was just excited to taste it.  One dad was going to donate $1 for a cup of lemonade for his daughter.  When he found out that our preschoolers made it, he donated $5 and he came back with another $10 for a second cup!  Because of our Culver City community, we will be sending a $172 check to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.”

Big applause to all the helping hands of all sizes, and a successful project for La Playa that means more fund for childhood cancer research.

For more info or to set up your own lemonade stand, go to



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